2019: Our year in communications #postaltogether

In 2019, the Communication and Events Programme (CEP) delivered compelling communications publicizing the Universal Postal Union’s activities.

The year was a memorable one for the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as we celebrated our 145th birthday, the 50th anniversary of World Post Day and held the groundbreaking third Extraordinary Congress on remuneration rates in Geneva.

When looking back at the year, CEP wishes to thank the UPU’s staff whose own enthusiasm and dedication is the departure point for all our communication efforts.
World Post Day

World Post Day

On 9 October—World Post Day—we celebrated the most important day in our calendar with a series of high profile events.

“Since 1874, the Universal Postal Union has played a dynamic role in developing and sustaining the international postal sector.” - UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The UPU celebrated its 145th birthday in the room where 22 founding members signed the Treaty of Berne in 1874

Emphasizing the role of posts in local and global economies, the UPU awarded prizes to the winners and regional champions of its Integrated Index for Postal Development

The UPU Announced the winner of its 48th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People

Celebrated the UPU’s birthday with staff at its headquarters

145th Anniversary of the Universal Postal Union

“[The] theme we have chosen for our 145th anniversary year… is ‘delivering development.’”

Publicized the UPU’s 145-year history of delivering development through a social media campaign titled, “145 years in 145 days

Framed and hung posters celebrating World Post Day

Held a tree planting ceremony in the presence of the Berne diplomatic community

Unveiled an SDG wall celebrating the organization’s strong ties to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Framed and hung quotes from the winning letters of the International Letter Writing Competition for Young People

Inaugurated a time wall celebrating the Universal Postal Union’s history

Third Extraordinary Congress in Geneva, and the later meeting between the UPU DG and the President of the United States

Faced with the threat of the United States of America leaving the Union, the third Extraordinary Congress in Geneva offered a final chance to negotiate a solution on the vexed question of remuneration rates. A solution was found.

“I am convinced that the maintenance of the worldwide postal system is a victory for everyone on this planet.”

Created a public service announcement titled, “One world. One postal network

Handled the strategic communications for the third Extraordinary Congress in Geneva

Drafted key messages for speeches and media materials, including campaigns and factsheets

Organized and moderated press conferences with the world’s media

Reported on the Washington D.C. meeting between the UPU Director General and the President of the United States Donald J. Trump

“Telling it to sell it.”

“Since the very earliest times, we have told stories around campfires; as we progressed, we have sent stories to each other over vast distances of land and water.”

Throughout 2019, we used powerful storytelling to amplify the Universal Postal Union’s support for postal operators and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our content included, first person interviews, videos and factsheets.

Video interviews of UPU staff and senior staff of postal operators

Inspirational Campaigns

Our campaigns are about delivering change. In 2019, we used social media, the UPU website and partnerships with other organizations to highlight the international postal network’s importance.

“I saw a boat, swept up by the tsunami that settled on top of a building. It was a sight I never would have thought possible.”
Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Marked World Tsunami Awareness Day, on 5 November, with a compelling story of a Postmaster who survived the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami.

Informed readers about the Postal Operations Council and Council of Administration

Highlighted the importance of the multilateral system

Emphasized the UPU’s important role within the UN family

Promoted the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February

“You should be able to do what you are passionate about and the best way to achieve this is to work without bias. Brains do not have a gender.”

Digital Natives

We continued to increase our corporate social media accounts and to draw people to our news website. These platforms amplified UPU’s voice and communicated the breadth of its global activities.


Whether drafting and designing our own publications or helping to launch the work of others, we worked hard in 2019 to ensure that the UPU’s publications received the visibility they deserved.

Produced four editions of the Union Postale magazine with an average of 16,000 words per edition and a total of 60 articles

Published 145 years of delivering development

Launched the UPU Postal Development Report at the Press Briefing at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Published numerous pamphlets, factsheets and other documents in support of communications. Launched publications in partnership with other teams at the Universal Postal Union.

Media Relations

“I call on all of you in the name of this historical Union to find the courage to choose the right path not just for yourselves, but for the entire industry.”

Media relations is about magnifying the UPU’s voice in the media. In 2019, we continued to build good working relationships with international journalists and to provide them with the information necessary to enhance their reporting.

Interviews and briefings were given to many of the world’s most influential media, including Associated Press, BBC, Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, Zeit Online, SRF, Washington Post, the New York Times, and many others.

Four press briefings were held in 2019. We organized two high-profile press conferences at the third Extraordinary Congress in Geneva for the Director General of the Universal Postal Union and for Dr. Peter Navarro, the Assistant to the US President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.

Global Events

In 2019, we designed and delivered a series of high profile events for various UPU stakeholders that supported the international postal network and reinforced our role as the industry’s voice.

Worked with the Indian Embassy to celebrate the birth of Mahatma Gandhi

Organized an event for the children of UPU staff

Held the UPU World CEO Forum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Celebrated World Post Day with four high profile events on the same day

Supported the UPU Global Conference on Cross-Border cooperation in an E-commerce world in Xiamen

“The Universal Postal Union is the servant of multilateralism, we flourish because of it and the international law that enables us to provide a truly invaluable service.”

Strengthening the UPU Brand

"Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room."

Working in close cooperation with the UPU’s Graphic Arts Unit, who provided the powerful visual content, we reinforced UPU’s brand using arresting designs.

Design: Sonja Denovski, UPU Graphics Arts Unit

Thank you for all your help!

Whether staff members, representatives of a member country, journalists, civil society or other UPU stakeholders, we look forward to working with you in 2020.