CIPR Excellence Awards - Public Sector Winner

South Wales: Social marketing
South Wales: Social marketing

Fire service reduces antisocial activities

Campaign: Project Bernie
Client: South Wales Fire & Rescue Service
PR team: In-house
Timescale: Easter 2010
Budget: £166,614

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service (SWFRS) ran a social marketing campaign to try to reduce the number of grass fires started deliberately in Tonypandy.


- To reduce the number of grass fires in Tonypandy by 15 per cent over Easter

- To promote socially positive alternative behaviours.

Strategy and plan

In-depth interviews with the local community showed fire-setters were predominately bored young males. The PR team asked teenagers to design a mascot and help create a programme of Easter activities for young people.

An information stand was set up in the local Asda car park, offering promotional merchandise and an opportunity for the community to get to know their local firefighters. Local media attended the launch.

Measurement and evaluation

The results showed a reduction in fires of 46 per cent - three times the target.

Police data showed reported incidences of all forms of antisocial behaviours reduced during the intervention; fire incidents continued to be reduced afterwards.


Direct saving to SWFRS from reduced fires in Tonypandy was £285,655.

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