Severn Trent Water
Midlands-based Severn Trent Water supplies eight million people with water, and is responsible for removing and treating the waste water. A three-strong team from the in-house PR department devised a wide-ranging campaign last year aimed at adults and children to emphasise the company's involvement in environmental activities, resulting in sustained, positive media coverage. Overcoming preconceived ideas (fat cats and leaking pipes, for example) about the nature of privatised water companies was an important part of the strategy.
By focusing on ponds, the team hoped to provide the public with something familiar and understandable to put its point across, while emphasising the water company's credentials as an environmental protector. Rather than trying to explain the concept of biodiversity it concentrated on living examples, since ponds contain a variety of creatures, insects and plant life which are important for wildlife and the environment.
The campaign highlighted the changes undergone by ponds during a year, using a 12-month series of seasonal events, with backing to the messages being given by local wildlife trusts. Educational literature was made available free to the public, with 300 packs sent out. Schools were targeted to join in activities such as spawn spotting and dragonfly days - providing excellent photo opportunities. Competitions in six daily Midlands newspapers led to the creation of a calendar designed by children, 500 of which were distributed, while the company supported the creation or refurbishment of ten ponds in the area in conjunction with BBC Midlands.
The front man for the campaign was the fictional James Pond, who appeared at events in tuxedo and flippers to provide a visual link for the media.
Television and radio coverage and an estimated six million print impressions point to the success of this fun and customer-friendly approach, for a large corporation attempting to articulate complex environmental issues.
The Avon Crusade against Breast Cancer
Avon Cosmetics with support from Breakthrough Breast Cancer
The campaign was the latest strand of Avon's eight year old campaign against breast cancer, which aims to up Avon's profile and raise funds and awareness. The Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer initiative attempted to re-energise the company's involvement using celebrity support for a special lipstick range and a petition to push the subject onto the political agenda. A sales promotion and a three-phase media campaign were also integral to its success.
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I'll be Des