CONFERENCE REPORT: The Post Office uses the external broadcast
media to keep its staff informed of key events such as privatisation,
according to Susan Burgin, its head of communications policy.
Speaking at PR Week’s Communicating Business Strategy conference last
week, Burgin said that the Post Office found that feeding stories to the
media proved a more effective way of reaching staff than many of its
established internal communications systems.
With nearly 200,000 staff across the UK, The Post Office has an almost
impossible task in keeping them abreast of news. ’Much information will
be gleaned from external sources, and this needs to be taken into
account,’ she said.
Burgin said that articles such as a Sun story in December saying staff
would be entitled to shares if the Post Office were privatised were
In an effort to keep staff better informed, the Post Office has
overhauled its internal media. Staff paper the Courier has been
relaunched after research showed staff viewed it as management
propaganda. It now has an honest style, running stories on the direction
the business is taking.
According to Burgin, a 1997 report by the Post Office revealed that the
organisation was ’losing the commitment of some of the very people on
whom it will rely for the delivery of its future.’
To rebuild trust, a new annual report has been developed specially for
Post Office staff.