The Royal Mail Sunday deliveries make them the PR winners

Good PR of the week

Royal Mail – two words that may incite a mixture of feelings. Great when Mr Postman turns up on your doorstep with your sparkly new dress that you only ordered the day before, not so great when Great Auntie Morag still hasn’t received the card you posted two weeks ago because there was a mix up at the sorting office. Great Auntie Morag is a grumpy old lady at the best of times. 

Well, the privatised Royal Mail has received some positive media coverage (for a change), after announcing that it will open some offices and deliver parcels on Sundays to provide more options for online shoppers.

There’ll be whoops of delight from many people partial to a spot of online shopping and it’s great to see the Royal Mail making a move to catch up with the digital age and 24/7 culture.

Parcels will be delivered on Sundays later in the summer to addresses within the M25 motorway initially, including London. Approximately 100 delivery offices across the UK with the highest parcel volumes will be open on Sunday afternoons as part of the initiative.  

The firm’s sister company, Parcelforce Worldwide, will also launch Sunday deliveries in June for online shoppers buying items through participating retailers. 

Bad PR of the week

A French train operator has made an absolute belter of a mistake, which has been reported by the likes of the BBC, Reuters, Sky News ... the list goes on.

What happened? Well, the firm – SNCF – ordered 2,000 shiny new trains at a cost of £12.1bn. Yep, I said billion. I’m sure you’re thinking “That’s a bit pricey! Did they order too many or something?” Not quite.

There was a slight error with the order which means that the trains are too wide for many regional platforms; so wide that the trains literally wouldn’t be able to get into some stations because there isn’t enough of a gap between the tracks and the platforms to accommodate the locomotives. Uh oh.

Apparently, the error occurred when the national rail operator RFF gave the wrong dimensions to SNCF. Allegedly, platforms built less than 30 years ago were measured, but the fact that many of France’s regional platforms were built more than 50 years ago (when the trains were a bit on the skinny side) was overlooked.

Construction work has begun to reconfigure the station platforms, which is sure to be an expensive exercise (already costing £40.5million). Jacques Rapoport, RFF president played down the error, saying there would be “no impact on passengers, ticket prices or taxpayers” but this is surely going to cost the French tax payer and it has angered plenty of people. Whichever individual was to blame for this miscalculation must have had a proper face palm moment when they realised...

Shannon Haigh, 10 Yetis

Seen any good or bad PR recently, you know what to do, @10Yetis on The Twitter or on email.