Agency help sought for flood awareness

The Environment Agency is looking for an agency to run future flood awareness campaigns, following criticism of its handling of last summer's widespread floods.

Floods: Summer 2007
Floods: Summer 2007

In June 2007, 13 people died and £3bn worth of damage was inflicted by severe flooding across Yorkshire and Humberside, the Midlands and the West Country.

An official report subsequently called for a wider public information campaign, to provide a single source of information to support local authorities and the media.

The Environment Agency is currently working with the Central Office of Information to develop a response to this report.

The Environment Agency's marketing and comms manager Jon Challis said: 'The 2007 summer floods and the internal and external reviews that followed highlighted the need for more to be done to engage and prepare the public for flooding at any time and place and from any source.'

This year's brief has been changed to reflect the fact that the Environment Agency will be given a new strategic overview role for all forms of flooding, not just rivers and the sea. A PR agency will be appointed next spring at the earliest.

Previous campaigns have been handled by Burson-Marsteller subsidiary Marsteller for the past three years.

Marsteller MD Desiree Collier confirmed that the agency would be repitching for the account, but she would not comment on any possible failings in last year's campaign. This year a roster of agencies is handling flood awareness.

A key aim of all the Environment Agency's flood campaigns is to generate awareness of flood risk.

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