Royal Mail photography library

The challenge
Building and maintaining a relevant and compelling image library has become increasingly important for major brands with an ‘always on’, content-focused mindset.

Royal Mail – the UK’s only ‘one-price-goes-anywhere’ postal service – approached Speak Media to deliver a major update to its bank of brand photography, to fuel its multi-channel content output. It was essential for the new imagery to successfully convey the Royal Mail’s mission to serve every address in the UK, no matter how remote, while also demonstrating the company’s ongoing investment in new technologies and innovation.

What we did
The image library update involved the planning and delivery of multi-location photoshoots in all four regions served by the company – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Working closely with Royal Mail’s brand communications team, we developed a detailed commissioning brief including a comprehensive list of subjects and themes for each regional shoot.

We then sent our production team out to recce the iconic, metropolitan centres and rural communities in and around key cities (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast) and compile a final shot list for each location.

For the shoots themselves, we used our editorial expertise to create realistic set-ups. While staying true to newly established brand photography guidelines, we ensured authenticity in every shot by capturing spontaneous staff-consumer interactions on postal routes, and featured real Royal Mail staff as well as the vehicles, technology and processes they use in their day-to-day work.

Our shoot crew even made the most of the unpredictable British weather. They carried on shooting through torrential rain and high winds, adding an extra element of authenticity to the new visual assets and reinforcing a key brand message for Royal Mail: that its people continue to deliver in all conditions.

The outcome
The shoots created a comprehensive bank of compelling brand images that made an immediate impact on critical brand communications – featuring extensively, for instance, in Royal Mail Group’s 2016 Annual and Corporate Responsibility reports – and will continue to enhance the Group’s visual storytelling across all channels, internal and external, for years to come.

“Really love the pictures from this shoot. Awesome variety and the landscape shots are beautiful. Brilliant.”

– Holly Firmin, CR and community investment, Royal Mail

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