CorpComms Awards

Best corporate publication

Winner 2021
Royal Mail
Agency: Linney

The Courier, a monthly tabloid newsletter, has kept employees of Royal Mail updated with company news for more than 50 years, but when agency Linney was appointed to refresh and relaunch the publication, it took a new approach.

Firstly, the tabloid style approach out. It was no longer viewed as an appropriate cultural fit for an increasingly diverse workforce. Second, the publication would switch from a monthly version to a quarterly 44-page magazine with a mission to Update, Inspire, Celebrate, which meant that every article had to meet one of these objectives to be deemed ‘Courier-worthy’.

Linney assembled a team comprising journalists, an editor, art director, designer, photographer and project managers to work alongside Royal Mail’s internal communications team.

It also established a Courier editorial panel comprising six postmen and postwomen, who are involved at every stage of the publication cycle, from content planning to cover image selections and reviewing pages prior to going to the printers. The six act as both advocates and critics, sharing frontline feedback from their colleagues, to ensure that Courier remains relevant.

The new publication contains in-depth features, first-person pieces, news, human interest stories, infographics, competitions, and articles from Royal Mail’s 500-year history. There is also a pull-out calendar highlighting key events. And, reflecting the heavily unionised workforce, there are articles from leaders of Unite and the Communication Workers Union.

During the pandemic, the publication provided health and legal guidance. It also joined postmen on the frontline delivering test kits and interviewed customers to hear how Royal Mail had delivered more than just mail during the difficult period.

QR codes within stories link readers to further information in content-on-demand films, website articles and Royal Mail’s Workplace intranet. The Courier team also works alongside Linney’s film and animation team, which produces a weekly TV magazine show, RMtv, for Royal Mail.

Printed on paper from responsible sources, Courier is delivered to employees’ homes in a wrap, thus providing another communications channel for Royal Mail.

The change has proved successful. A survey of Royal Mail colleagues revealed that 95 per cent had read the latest issue of Courier, and that 78 per cent were either satisfied or highly satisfied with the content.