Nappy catwalk displays Notts recycling resolve

Nottinghamshire County Council estimates that disposable nappies account for two per cent, or 8,000 tonnes, of the waste it sends to landfill sites each year.

Campaign Real Nappy Week 2005
Client Notts Nappy Project
PR team Nottinghamshire County Council Environment Department
Timescale April to June 2005
Budget £7,000 (including promotions)

As a lead partner of the Notts Nappy Project, the council organised a campaign to encourage parents to switch from single-use to reusable cotton nappies. This activity was timed to coincide with the national Real Nappy Week 2005 (20 to 26 June).

To raise awareness of the environmental benefits of cotton nappies among Nottinghamshire residents and the potential for parents to save around £400 per baby by switching from disposables.

Strategy and Plan
To illustrate the versatility and cost-effectiveness of cotton nappies, the PR team organised a launch event at County Hall for parents from local toddler groups, and contacted local print and broadcast media.

The event featured a fashion catwalk with 17 Nottinghamshire babies and toddlers wearing a colourful range of cotton nappies .

To gain independent third-party endorsement for the campaign, the council arranged for BBC Radio Nottingham presenter Sarah Julian to carry out a nappy trial with her baby and provide feedback on the station's mid-morning show. The team also set up a competition with the Nottingham Evening Post, offering women who gave birth during Real Nappy Week the opportunity to win cotton nappies.

The campaign culminated in a Nappy Sale Day in West Bridgford, where parents received a £20 voucher to purchase cotton nappies. This event was promoted through leaflets and posters distributed to health visitors, midwives and retailers, as well as mother and toddler groups.

Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign gained significant local broadcast coverage, including items on Central News, BBC East Midlands Today, BBC Radio Nottingham, Trent FM and Century 106. Print articles appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post, Mansfield Chad and West Bridgford Local News.

The catwalk event attracted an audience of 100, while 400 parents attended the Nappy Sale Day. It is hard for the council to gauge how many parents have switched from disposable to cotton nappies.

However, 110 of the 300 vouchers handed out on Sale Day were converted to a purchase.

'Pictures of cute babies in multi-coloured nappies go down well with our readers,' says Nottingham Evening Post environment correspondent Sean Kirby, who covered the catwalk show for the paper.'The press officers were on the ball, providing me with contact details for a local nappy designer.

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