Archive for May 1st, 2008

Anyone else find the latest ad campaign by the post office a bit annoying?  The one where random celebs like Joan Collins and Westlife stop by to post their mail?   Yeah, they’re totally believable aren’t they?  Doesn’t look at all like the post office jumping on the celebrity bandwagon in a desperate attempt to appeal to a wider audience….

I can’t help but feel that this approach to marketing coupled with ongoing plans to open post offices in places like Tesco will do more harm than good and lead to the brand becoming devalued.  That’s why I’m quite interested in plans announced today to relocate some post offices to public libraries.  It’s certainly a better fit for the post office in terms of brand synergy, than aligning themselves with supermarkets. 

I’d be cautious, however, about the long term impact of operating what is essentially a revenue generating business out of a public library.    As John Buschman, author of “Dismantling the Public Sphere” noted; in today’s society public libraries have an even greater responsibility to “provide alternatives and alternative spaces in a culture dominated by information capitalism and media image and spectacle”. 

I’m not completely against the idea of post offices in public libraries; I can see how it could benefit local communities and I look forward to hearing more as the idea progresses… I just hope that as a profession we don’t sell ourselves short on this one!

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