Royal Mail today announced the creation of a new Strategic Mailing Partnership to drive developments and shape the future of the mailing house industry.
Independently chaired by direct marketing industry stalwart and former Postwatch vice-chair Judith Donovan CBE, the new organisation reflects Royal Mail’s desire to collaborate more closely with mailing houses and help develop products and services, drive forward modernisation and tackle issues affecting the industry.
The Strategic Mailing Partnership will be steered by a board featuring 12 executives from a cross-section of mailing houses working alongside Judith Donovan, as well as two Royal Mail representatives.
Mailing houses handle around 90 per cent of all Royal Mail bulk mailings and use its spectrum of products, including Presstream, Mailsort and Walksort.
Jim Bulmer, Head of Mailing House Development at Royal Mail, said, “We have listened to the mailing house industry’s concerns and requirements for a long time now.
"They are a key partner for Royal Mail and we aim to improve dialogue through The Strategic Mailing Partnership to give them a voice in our operations and the development of our key products, while also helping them to shape the future of the mailing house industry.
“Judith Donovan’s appointment as independent chair is critical and she will be instrumental to us working closer with mailing houses to create positive changes to the future of mail as a medium.”
Judith Donovan said, “The UK mailing house industry has come a long way since the early days of mass print production. Many now offer cutting-edge data, creative and print services, and distribution through channels including email, SMS and of course direct mail.
"I’m delighted Royal Mail asked me to chair The Strategic Mailing Partnership which will be crucial both to mailing houses and the UK’s mail industry as a whole.”
The initiative is being launched with a targeted direct mail drive to senior mailing house executives in a bid to encourage free membership. Those who sign up will receive a follow-up welcome pack including a statement of intent from the partnership.
The Strategic Mailing Partnership will also hold a series of events around the country as part of a newly constructed communications programme designed to create a sustainable, meaningful two-way dialogue.
These will include regional roadshows, a national annual conference and other networking opportunities allowing attendees to share best practice. While Royal Mail has invited inaugural members to sit on the board, all of them will face re-election in January 2011 in order to give the industry a say in its future profile.
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