CIPR Excellence Awards - Crisis Comms Winner

Major flooding: Cornwall
Major flooding: Cornwall

Keeping heads above the flood waters

Campaign: Flooding in Cornwall
Client: Cornwall Council
PR team: In-house
Timescale: November 2010
Budget: Staff time and print costs

On 17 November 2010 a major flooding incident was declared in Cornwall.


- To provide fast, accurate information and advice to those affected.

Strategy and plan

To ensure different bodies did not reproduce the same information, the council set up a response centre that provided comms for the environment agency, Primary Care Trust and police.

The public was kept informed with press releases and daily media interviews. A dedicated phone line provided help and support to local communities and the council's website hosted detailed, timely information.

Measurement and evaluation

BBC Cornwall's managing editor Pauline Causey sent a note to the comms team, thanking them for their help during the flooding: 'We've appreciated enormously the speed at which interviewees have been arranged in response to our enquiries.'


The website received 4,719 hits, 25 per cent more than on a normal Wednesday. The @CornwallCouncil Twitter page received 2,000 visits during the flood period.

The flow of information to local, national and international media outlets helped secure a visit by Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron.

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