TikTok videos have become the de facto method of influencing pretty much everyone in every sector of society these days. Therefore, today's rise in the price of Royal Mail stock coinciding with a rather amusing TikTok viral video by employee Laura Orgill is perhaps of note. Royal Mail, the traditional British postal service, which is famed for its red, cylindrical mailboxes, imagery of the crown, and government-owned history, has been planning something of a resurgence which goes so far as aligning itself with slick, Silicon Valley giants such as Amazon.
Royal Mail's beige, plodding image is something that the company takes seriously and clearly knows that it has to revitalize. Just one month ago, Royal Mail was re-admitted to the prestigious FTSE 100 index on the London Stock Exchange, and gone are the days of its 1970s socialist image.
It is very much a Blue Chip company and the ETFs have been forced to buy Royal Mail stock as a result of its re-inclusion in the FTSE 100 index, and share prices have gone up an astonishing 400% in the last six months, however today, a bizarre further rise in stock price has taken place against the backdrop of Laura Orgill's depricating TikTok video.
Ms Orgill, a 26-year-old Royal Mail employee from South Wales, published a cackling soundtrack of her laughing loudly after waiting just two seconds for a customer to answer the door to receive mail before putting a "We Missed You" leaflet through the mailbox and leaving. Ms Orgill, who self-styles herself as the "TikTok Postie", Postie being British slang for mail delivery personnel, has become an online influencer, for some unfathomable reason, and despite her derogatory video, which appears to mock customers and give the impression that is somehow a source of humor among mail delivery personnel to leave quickly instead of waiting to deliver parcels, has been allowed to keep her job.
The video - captioned 'when a customer takes longer than two seconds to answer the door' - sees uniform-clad Ms Orgill laugh as she drops off the slip, which tells a customer to collect their parcel at their local delivery office. So powerful is the influence of social media mavericks these days that they can even depict a publicly listed company that they represent in a less than flattering light, suffer no consequences and even gain a large audience on such videos whilst seeing share prices rise even further.
Ms Orgill has an astonishing 6.5 million likes and 300,000 followers on TikTok, despite her videos being purely based on her daily rounds in Pontypridd in the South Wales valleys, and largely displays her making loud noises and displaying herself with a mouth full of marshmallows whilst in a Royal Mail uniform and in sometimes in her Royal Mail liveried van. Rather than pillorying her, Royal Mail have allowed her to continue to publish the videos to the extent that Ms Orgill is now viewed as a 'poster girl' for the company. So, as they say in Wales, here we are then.
We live in an age in which disruptors and influencers on social media, regardless of the vacuity of their subject matter, are leading the public following of some of the largest corporate entities in the world.