WASHINGTON: The Alliance for Climate Protection (ACP) plans to use the star power of its chairman, Al Gore, to generate media coverage of its efforts. It took a significant step July 17 when the former Vice President addressed an audience of more than 3,000 at Washington's Constitution Hall. Gore laid out the ACP's new proposal for 100% of US electricity production to be met through renewable energy sources within 10 years. His face, along with the proposal, were splashed across major networks and publications.
The new proposal will provide the basis for communications by the group going forward, including media relations, advertising, local events, and additional major announcements by Gore, according to Brian Hardwick, director of communications at the ACP.
Gore's appearance at the Progressive Netroots Nation conference on July 19 also helped encourage more 250,000 people to view the speech online and otherwise contribute to the most traffic on the ACP's www.wecansolveit.org since its April launch, added Hardwick.
"We've tried to maximize the use of these moments with our founder and chairman, Al Gore, so that we can continue the momentum, not just for our campaign, but to keep the cause at the top of the news," Hardwick told PRWeek after Gore's Constitution Hall speech. "The challenge [Gore] laid down today becomes a focal point and a rallying call for [PR] efforts around the campaign... It gives our grassroots effort something to rally around."
Hardwick said recent debates in Congress over opening up new areas of the US to oil drilling, along with general news coverage about high gas prices, made now an ideal opportunity to unveil the proposal.
"These national conversations about oil prices, energy, and what are people going to do - the idea to drill more as a solution - that's the reason we needed to do this today, to start to put a different framework around the issues," he added.
Working with PR agency Glover Park Group, the ACP provided the AP with an exclusive Gore interview that ran the morning before the speech, then issued a press release shortly after the address. MSNBC and CNN carried portions of the speech live, and the three major broadcast networks were granted sit-down, post-speech interviews with Gore, who also appeared on Meet the Press on July 20.