The Royal Mail is drawing up a new PR roster which will work across
the Post Office’s four strategic business units.
As a publicly-owned body, the Post Office - effectively a holding
company for the Royal Mail, Parcel Force, Post Office Counters and the
Post Office Group - is required to tender contracts anew when they
expire. It is not known how many agencies will be chosen, but the new
contracts could be up to five years long, and will come out of the Post
Office’s overall pounds 2.5 million PR agency budget.
The agency review has come at the end of two long contracts the Royal
Mail has had with QBO and The Reputation Managers (TRM). Both agencies
have also worked for other Post Office business units.
For the last four years, QBO’s deputy MD Shirley Hanley has headed a
variety of project teams working on different aspects of consumer PR for
the Post Office’s stamps, collectibles and international services. QBO
has tendered for the new work and is one of 15 agencies awaiting a
decision on the new roster, expected to be announced by late-March.
TRM, under MD Stella Hitner and account director Mireille Toddington,
has worked for branches of the Post Office for more than ten years,
though the agency has not tendered to be on the latest roster.
The state-owned body, in the process of obtaining plc status,
reorganised its PR function last month to make it more commercially
competitive (PR Week, 28 January). The four units no longer have a
dedicated PR function each, so any agency taken on is likely to work
across them as projects demand.