The Met Office is to step up the promotion of its government work,
including its research on behalf of British forces in Afghanistan.
The move has been taken to show that the service, which is part of the
Ministry of Defence, provides more than TV weather forecasts.
Its public sector business division has this month renewed its contract
with retained agency Prowse & Co and tasked it with finding fresh ways
of communicating its work to the public.
The division has been involved in some of the biggest news stories of
the past 12 months, including the current conflict in Afghanistan, where
it has been advising the military on weather movements.
However, this work goes largely unnoticed according to Met Office
spokesman Andy Yeatman.
Government work has included monitoring the spread of the airborne
disease foot-and-mouth, and warning of floods through the work of its
National Severe Weather Warning Service.
Yeatman said: 'We have done a good job communicating our work to those
who use our services but among the general public we are known primarily
as the people who give the weather forecasts on the TV. We do so much
more than that.
'Obviously, though, with the military work we have to be aware of issues
of national security,' he continued.
Yeatman added that the division is considering increasing public affairs
work as a way of better communicating its services.
This latest PR drive is led by head of business development Kate Smith,
to whom the Prowse & Co team reports.
PR for the Met Office's commercial division continues to be handled by
The Met Office was last month given the go-ahead to move from its base
in Bracknell, Berkshire, to a new home in Exeter. This site, costing
£150m, will include two computer halls, an energy centre and a
visitors and conference centre.
Staff at the Met Office are currently providing information to the NHS
about climate change over the winter months in order to help health
workers be better prepared.