Media Relations: Conference firm in B2B strategy

The Royal Society, the UK's national academy of science, is using a media campaign to combat the growing influence of US pressure groups that seek to downplay the threat of global warming.Hotel Brokers International (HBI) has begun a media relations campaign urging companies to save money by consolidating spend on conference venue booking.

The campaign by Triggerfish Communications will target accountancy, purchasing and supply trade titles to highlight the savings that can be made through the bulk hiring of conference venues.

Triggerfish director of strategy Andrew White said companies could lose track of their expenditure on venue hire for conferences because bookings were often made separately by individual departments, such as marketing.

HBI, which makes venue bookings of more than £25m a year on behalf of corporate clients including Deloitte, will also target secretaries through consumer media by using 'quirky' surveys about secretaries' attitudes to hotels and corporate events.

Society vice-president Sir David Wallace this week wrote a letter to more than 100 newspaper and broadcast editors to provide 'a layman's guide' to fact and fiction around climate change.

'There are some individuals on the fringes, sometimes with financial support from the oil industry, who have attempted to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change and deny that burning fossil fuels is creating a problem,' it said.

'Sadly, some parts of the UK media appear to give great prominence and credence to these extreme viewpoints without significant evidence to support them.'

The society fears that news editors without science backgrounds could become weary of environmental warnings and publish stories around the conspiracy theory that global warming is merely a tool of environmental lobbyists.

Society senior manager of policy communication Bob Ward said action had in part been prompted by a series of articles in the Daily Mail that played down the seriousness of climate change.

He said the incidence of US think-tanks targeting UK press was on the rise in the run-up to the G8 summit, in Gleneagles in July.

Ward singled out an opinion piece by Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips that appeared to be based on information from the George C Marshall Institute, a US pressure group funded by ExxonMobil.

The UK has assumed presidency of the G8 summit this year, for which climate change will be a focus.

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