A magazine that matters

Linney designs, writes and publishes a new quarterly magazine for Royal Mail

The brief

Design, write and publish a new quarterly magazine for Royal Mail’s 150,000 people that reflects the organisation’s drive for modernisation and inspires colleagues to play their part.

 

The approach

For more than 50 years, Royal Mail colleagues have been kept informed about the projects and people shaping its business through the pages of a monthly employee publication, Courier.

We assembled a Linney team featuring an editor, art director, project managers and account director to review and update Courier’s current format – a busy tabloid newspaper.

We proposed a refreshed publication: a quarterly 44-page magazine with a mission to ‘update, inspire and celebrate’. This new look and feel allows for larger, vibrant images and in-depth features.

Importantly, the Courier team works alongside Linney’s film crew, who deliver a weekly TV show for Royal Mail. This joined-up editorial approach means the teams share story ideas, allowing us to efficiently deliver complementary content across Royal Mail’s internal communications channels. Using QR codes within stories links readers to further information about the topic covered – either in content-on-demand films, website articles or social media posts.

The publication combines first-person articles from leaders and colleagues with news, human interest features and competitions. Crucially, stories about strategy are shared by frontline colleagues, demonstrating the impact on – and improvements for – those involved. It’s about reinforcing not just what’s happening, but why and what it means, using peer-to-peer voices across a diverse range of roles and locations.

Courier magazine is printed on paper from responsible sources and delivered to the homes of current and retired Royal Mail colleagues.

The results

Feedback on the winter 2020/21 launch edition was universally positive. Readers and leaders initially concerned about the move from fast-paced tabloid newspaper to glossy magazine praised the mix of accessible and engaging business and human interest stories in an attractive new format.

Client Feedback

It has been an extremely challenging time for Royal Mail, as the impact of Covid-19 took hold and changed all our ways of working. It has led to increasing operational pressures, a considerable health and safety impact, and constantly changing direction for our colleagues. It’s been a monumental effort, therefore, to have taken that time to make a hugely significant change to one of our key internal communication channels. Courier, previously a monthly newspaper with a 140,000 readership, had been produced successfully with a partner agency with vast experience for a number of years. But as our business modernises, the people who work for us change and communication tools move on we felt we needed a new partner who could help us grasp the mettle and respond with a product more befitting where the business is heading. That brought us to Linney, who we have worked with considerable success over a number of years, also, but primarily, in film. It has been no surprise they have navigated through tricky waters in producing what is now a feature-led, bumper-page quarterly magazine. Their dedication and commitment has been matched only by the creativity, editorial expertise and the production values of the final product. We have now a new-look magazine fit for the modern and transformative business we’re becoming and working hand-in-hand with the excellent skills on offer across Linney’s team – from create, to editorial and project management – has enabled us to deliver what is the best Courier I have been involved in across five years as its editor. Linney get our business. They understand our needs. They help us to push boundaries. It feels like this is just the start.

Paul Smith – Senior Channels Manager, Royal Mail

What’s next?

We’ll continue to review and refine the design and content based on the feedback. Linney’s insight team is conducting reader research and we’re recruiting an ‘editorial panel’ of front line colleagues who will inform the content of each edition.