Lucy Swanston of Nutshell Creative has been appointed chair of the Strategic Mailing Partnership, the Royal Mail-funded body that represents the UK’s mailing industry and suppliers, and has spoken to Digital Printer about her aims in the the role.

Ms Swanston is managing director at Nutshell Creative and Topic Heroes, the child literacy-focused charity established in 2021. She also sits on the Independent Print Industry Association (IPIA) and Direct Marketing Association (DMA) councils and is a keen advocate for the print industry.

Commenting on her appointment, she said, ‘I’m delighted to join the Strategic Mailing Partnership, an organisation that does an important job in representing the interests of the members within the printing and mailing industry.

‘The SMP does a lot to highlight and address the issues faced by its members, as well as looking for new ways to try and strengthen the appeal of mail, a hugely important medium that has a positive impact on brands.’

Speaking to Digital Printer, she confirmed that she has been tasked with developing a new strategy and to that end had worked with Phil Ricketts, Wholesale Commercial director at Royal Mail MarketReach and Richard Travers, MD Wholesale and Revenue Integrity. She noted that ‘historically, the SMP has been focused around the operational issues involved in getting mail into the Royal Mail ecosystem, and how to drive demand for mail,’ going on to observe that ‘the people who plan print campaigns don’t appreciate the level of expertise that goes into mail; we need to find ways to explain this’.

Ms Swanston said that she plans to broaden the scope of the SMP offering, to communicate better the benefits of mail to sales and marketing professionals and to ‘upskill the industry to have these conversations’. As tools to facilitate this, she cited open access to data from postal research initiative JicMail and that Royal Mail has developed courses with the Institute of Direct Marketing on how to plan direct mail campaigns; these are available at a discount to SMP members, and SMP membership is free.

Noting that industry bodies such as the IPIA and BPIF have a broad remit, she said that the SMP will be sharpening its application focus. ‘We will be looking at adjusting the offering. We want the SMP to be the go-to for the back office/supply chain for print industry-specific information.’


For more on JicMail’s recent findings on mail performance, see the feature on page 42 of the current issue of Digital Printer, available online under the ‘Magazine’ tab at the top of this page.