The need for better communication with its 190,000 staff has prompted a
major Post Office restructuring which sees staff numbers at group centre
reduced from 3,000 to under 100.
The reorganisation, announced internally two weeks ago but not made
public until now, sees around 2,900 group staff redeployed to the Post
Office’s three businesses: Royal Mail, Post Office Counters and
PR director Alan Williams is appointed to the new job of group director
of communications and corporate relations responsible for a budget of
around pounds 10 million.
He heads a group communications team of 25 handling national press,
employee, corporate and government relations and is part of a five-man
Post Office group executive reporting to chief executive Bill Cockburn.
The reorganisation also sees the creation of a communications support
‘agency’ of around 75 staff, brought together from the Post Office’s
three businesses. This will handle the production of publications,
including Courier the employee newspaper; exhibitions; and film and
photographic material. It will ‘sell’ its services to the various Post
The move sees the Post Office bringing together external and internal
communications strategy for the first time. Williams said the need to
improve communications came to light last year when the Post Office
lobbied the Government for greater commercial freedom.
‘We realised that our internal communications lagged behind our external
communications. We could supply copy to newspapers electronically, but
we couldn’t do that for our own staff who were reading about things
first in the press,’ he said.
He added that support from 140 communications suppliers including PR
agencies would be ‘looked at over time’ and said a move towards ‘fewer
but longer relationships’ was likely.
Williams said there would be no major change in PR staff numbers, but
added: ‘When the music stops we may end up with one or two fewer