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The GCA Gains Top Spot On BBC Breakfast

Stamp Price Rise Announcement

Confirming industry fears, Royal Mail recently announced that it is to significantly increase the price of First and Second Class stamps at the end of this month. The cost of a First Class stamp will go up to 60p (from 46p) and the price of a Second Class stamp will jump to 50p (from 36p).

Royal Mail is eloquent in its rationale for the increases – to prepare for privatisation and to recoup some of the £1 billion loss it has made over the last four year on its core letter service - but the price hikes are such that they are anticipated as having a negative effect on the greeting card industry, especially Christmas card sending.

Moya Green, chief executive of Royal Mail has said that without the rise in stamp prices the service was “at risk”. “Royal Mail provides one of the highest quality postal services in Europe for among the lowest prices for both consumers and business. That service is under threat from declining volume, e-substitution and ever increasing competition,” she said.

Royal Mail’s announcement however, did result in greeting cards receiving a host of positive PR coverage in the media. As soon as the news broke, the GCA was bombarded with enquiries from newspapers, TV channels and radio stations all keen for comments from the industry’s perspective.

Sharon Little, ceo of the GCA made the most of the opportunities to raise the profile of the greeting card industry, get its viewpoint across and encourage people to continue to send cards.

Appearing on BBC News Channel on the day the announcement was made, Sharon acknowledged the symbiotic relationship the Royal Mail has with the greeting card industry and recognised the importance of the UK safeguarding a reliable postal service, but stressed that the price hikes would be likely to dissuade some people from sending cards especially at Christmas.

Following this appearance Sharon was approached to appear on BBC Breakfast television in an interview with Stephanie McGovern, its business correspondent.

But Sharon’s luck was really in when Des O’Connor failed to turn up for the last part of the show, “I was called back to be interviewed by Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin on the sofa, a huge ambition of mine and probably the last chance for this to happen before BBC Breakfast moves to Salford.” Sharon said.

There followed a full five minute interview covering the stamp prices, Christmas, how much Christmas cards raise for charity, interesting facts about the UK greeting card industry and the Great British love of greeting cards.

This was followed by interviews with BBC Radio Scotland, London and Bristol, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and the Metro, and Associated Press.