Public Sector: Campaign breakdown - Fish in hot water

Agency: PRG Publicity
Client: East Sussex Energy Partnership
Timescale: Summer 2009
Budget: £6,000

- The lowdown

Representing four local authorities, the East Sussex Energy Partnership provides homeowners with grant-funded measures such as loft insulation and solar panels to reduce their energy consumption and costs.

- Why is it happening now?

Summer is the optimum time to promote solar panels to heat hot water.

- Who is being targeted?

Residents of Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother and Wealden who own or rent their homes and are in fuel poverty, aged over 60, claiming working tax credits with children under 16, disabled or chronically ill.

- What has already happened?

A photo call was staged in the bathroom of a local hotel, where BBC weatherman Michael Fish soaked in a hot bath surrounded by sunflowers. Regional media attended and a news release was distributed more widely with photos. In addition to extensive regional coverage, The Daily Telegraph's website ran a photo as one of its 'Pictures of the day' and The Guardian ran another photo with a humorous article headlined 'Michael Fish in the bath? Stop the nudity now!' Within three weeks, enough enquiries had been received to achieve a grant spend of more than £2m.

- What other action has PRG taken?

PR is being integrated with newspaper and bus shelter advertising. In the winter the focus will switch to loft and wall insulation.

- What challenges does the campaign face?

Overcoming the initial suspicion that the offer is too good to be true by constantly communicating the local authority involvement.

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