BY James Robinson
A fantastically British PR stunt is sweeping the nation as Royal Mail is painting its iconic red post boxes gold to celebrate every Team GB and Paralympics GB gold medal win. A postbox in the hometown of each winning athlete is being selected and painted in their honour.
The Royal Mail team have set up a website, www.goldpostboxes.com where fans can search for and visit these one-off post boxes, however, it’s not without controversy. Laura Trott, from the woman's team pursuit (Cycle – Track) tweeted "So people I need you to tweet @PostOffice for me.. my postbox is going in harlow which isn’t in my hometown Cheshunt is where it should be!!"
Tim Cowen, of Royal Mail, said the mistake was made because her home town was listed as Harlow on the Team GB website.
"We tweeted her straight back to say we'd be delighted to do one in Cheshunt as well," he said.
Mr Cowen said the company would paint a box near where Laura went to primary school, but it could be delayed until Monday due to Britain's run of gold medals.
"We are running a little short on gold paint, which is testament to Team GB's success. We'll be getting more supplies tomorrow," he added.
Alongside the golden postboxes, a special gold medal stamp has also been produced, featuring an image of Olympic heroes. The stamps will be on sale from lunchtime on Tuesday in more than 500 post offices in the UK.
The boxes will remain in use and customers will be able to post mail in them as normal. They will later be re-painted in traditional red.
Ultimately, this is a simple picture-led idea from Royal Mail that has swept across all media. It’s a local story that focuses on the hometown of the gold medal winning athletes, but with it being centred around their achievements it’s a must-have for national media. The Royal Mail’s interaction with athletes through their twitter account also adds to the stories success. Well done Royal Mail, hope you haven’t run out of gold paint just yet.