Client: Energy Saving Trust
PR Team: Cohn and Wolfe
Campaign: Energy Advice Week
Timescale: December 1995 - February 1996
Budget: pounds 100,000
At the end of last year, the Department of the Environment asked the
Energy Saving Trust (EST) to organise the public relations activity for
Energy Advice Week for the first time.
The EST is a non-profit making company set up by the Government, British
Gas and 14 British electricity suppliers, to promote energy efficiency.
The EST commissioned Cohn and Wolfe to run the campaign.
The PR campaign complemented a pounds 200,000 local and regional press
and radio advertising campaign, aimed at raising consumer awareness of
energy efficiency. Cohn and Wolfe’s brief was to publicise the free
independent home energy saving advice service, available from 33 Local
Energy Advice Centres (LEACs) and stimulate calls to the recently
installed LEACs Freephone network.
Gallup research commissioned by Cohn and Wolfe revealed that monetary
rather than environmental concerns was the primary motivating factors
for energy savings - providing the agency with a strong hook for the
To replace the plethora of leaflets previously made available during
Energy Advice Week, the agency put together a single brochure Smart
Guide to Energy Saving which spelt out the potential energy savings
around the home.
PR focused on the estimated pounds 200 annual saving that households
could make through energy saving measures. The saving was given a
tangible value by equating it to possible contributions to the family
holiday and every caller to the Freephone number was automatically
entered into a free holiday prize draw.
Other newshooks gleaned from the research included findings on how
energy bills spark domestic rows. Energy Advice Week ended on
Valentine’s Day, so Cohn and Wolfe culminated the campaign with a
release on top ten energy saving tips for lovers.
TV presenter John Craven and LEACs experts acted as spokespeople
throughout the campaign and programmes including Blue Peter, Good
Morning with Anne & Nick, GMTV and BBC Breakfast News were taken up in
thermal imaging helicopters to record heat escaping through ill-clad
roofs. Pre-arranged radio phone-ins and promotions ran throughout the
Wide coverage in the national and regional press and broadcast media
resulted in a high response through the Freephone advice service. The
LEACs took 17,835 calls during the week. The response house used during
the previous year’s campaign received just 941 Freephone calls.
In all, around 27,000 leaflets were requested.
Cohn and Wolfe’s in-house analysis showed that the campaign secured over
91,000,000 editorial ‘impacts’ - based on the number of editorial
features and media readership/viewerships - although the increased use
of the Freephone number probably says more about the effectiveness of
Stephanie Moore, public relations executive at the Energy Saving Trust
says ‘We were very pleased with the campaign’s success, which we think
was because of the single-minded public relations plan, whose objectives
were very clear...the holiday competition made a big difference.’