Royal Mail abandons Post Office comms team

In a dramatic U-turn, Royal Mail has scrapped the dedicated comms team it set up for the Post Office last June.

The move comes just four months after the exit of Mark Douglas, Royal Mail's first head of comms for the Post Office and a former Lockheed Martin director of comms.

Royal Mail group external relations director Paul Budd said that Douglas's responsibilities had passed to Royal Mail group head of media relations David Simpson, who Budd said would take on a new and as yet unnamed title.

'It is no secret that Royal Mail is under pressure to keep costs down,' Budd told PRWeek. 'But cost is not the driver here. We specifically wanted to bring everything together to make sure the Post Office gets the PR support it needs.'

Budd added that the size of the PR team that would be dealing with Post Office matters would be cut from the four PROs that Douglas had originally intended to hire before he quit the organisation last November.

Royal Mail will now hire just two PROs to deal with Post Office matters.

They will join Royal Mail's 12-strong press office.

Budd denied that axing the Post Office head of comms role, which reported to Royal Mail group corporate and government affairs director Mary Fagan, was a downgrading of Royal Mail's PR commitment to its retail arm.

Simpson said he would continue to report to Fagan and work alongside Budd.

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