Royal Mail Group was one of the biggest winners in the PR stakes of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, despite not being an official sponsor.
The company decided to focus on a PR-driven campaign to boost sales of its Gold Medal stamps, which it had earmarked as a key revenue stream. Royal Mail Group quickly identified that speed was of the essence and, despite a normal production lead time of 24 months for special stamps, the Olympic editions were produced within 24 hours.
As a result, the press office was staffed 24 hours a day to ensure PR materials could be provided to the press within two hours of a win. The stamps were also coupled with the popular stunt of painting post boxes gold in the home town of winning athletes within 24 hours of a victory.
The successful campaign resulted in praise from Prime Minister David Cameron, who called it "a very good idea". The First Ministers for Scotland and Wales also presented their nation’s athletes with their gold medal stamps.
On several occasions the company had more related mentions on Twitter than official sponsors, and it was the only non-sponsor invited to join the Team GB victory parade in London.
"The most memorable campaign of 2012, generating great PR coverage and stakeholder engagement and changing perceptions of the brand"
Martin Fewell Director of media and comms, Metropolitan Police