Royal Mail must work with its allies, not against them

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

While the national media are up in arms over the Royal Mail's 30% and almost 40% increase in the cost of First and Second Class stamps respectively, the true impact of the latest price increases, for the print industry at least, aren't likely to become apparent for a few weeks, if not months.

There’s little doubt that DM printers will have some fairly awkward client conversations ahead, when they try to negate the increases without simply falling victim to slashed volumes – which will inevitably be many clients’ first reaction when postage increases go live.

The trick that the Royal Mail seems to be missing is that, in reality, the print and mailing industries should be its strongest allies in terms of the impact they can have on stabilising mail volumes. When that’s compounded with the fact that the print sector, probably more than any other, appreciates the need for sustainable pricing to enable investment and growth, then we really should be brothers in arms.

The problem is that, for a communications company, Royal Mail’s just not very good at, erm, communication. 

And this is especially concerning when you consider that this latest increase may be a sign of things to come as the government seems to be sprucing the Royal Mail up ready for privatisation, following the EU’s approval of the deal to transfer its pension scheme, complete with eye-watering £9.5bn deficit, to the Exchequer. 

Insofar as how privatisation might impact Royal Mail, the risks must surely be as great as the opportunities in terms of maintaining the Universal Service.

So come on Royal Mail, work with us, not against us.

–  PrintWeek editor Darryl Danielli

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