CAMPAIGNS: Community Relations; Getting fired up over recycling

Client: Alcan Aluminium Can Recycling PR team: Brahm Public Relations Campaign: Strathclyde 999 Smoke Alarm Appeal Timescale: Ongoing from September 1993 Budget: pounds 3,500 to date

Client: Alcan Aluminium Can Recycling

PR team: Brahm Public Relations

Campaign: Strathclyde 999 Smoke Alarm Appeal

Timescale: Ongoing from September 1993

Budget: pounds 3,500 to date



The region of Strathclyde had one of the worst fire fatality records in

Europe until the Strathclyde Fire Brigade launched an initiative to

install smoke alarms in local homes in 1990. In 1993 the recycling

division of aluminium group Alcan UK, offered to support the campaign by

donating a penny to the Strathclyde Fire Brigade for each used aluminium

can handed in by the public.



Objectives



Alcan’s primary objective was to raise the level of can recycling at its

Glasgow centre and to highlight can recycling as an effective fund-

raising activity for charitable organisations. Strathclyde Fire Brigade

wished to lower the level of fatalities in the region as well as raising

its profile as a community service.



Tactics



Brahm PR, Alcan Recycling’s retained agency, calculated a ratio of 999

used aluminium drink cans to three smoke alarms, providing the appeal

with a simple association between recycling and the emergency services.



During the campaign, the Fire Brigade’s own fire fighters worked with

community organisations to fit the alarms, while fire stations in the

area acted as drop-off points to supplement the existing Alcan

collection



A media launch organised at Strathclyde Fire Brigade Headquarters in

September 1993, was followed by a series of milestone events, involving

local celebrities such including ex-Rangers and Scotland football player

and TV personality Derek Johnstone, who headed up the appeal’s first

year anniversary, and footballer Phil O’Donnell who fronted this year’s

anniversary promotions. Support was also enlisted from Radio Clyde, who

continue to postscript news and weather reports with appeal updates and

prompts.



Results



Over one million aluminium drink cans have been donated to the Appeal,

representing more than seven per cent of the Glasgow centre’s total can

volume. This hasprovided funding for over three thousand smoke alarms -

enough for the Strathclyde fire fighter to fit out the entire island of

Bute on 23 November.



According to Rab Coke, assistant firemaster at Strathclyde Fire Brigade,

the number of households in the area with smoke detectors has risen from

60 per cent and data from the Fire Brigade shows that the number of

fire-related deaths fell by 35 per cent during the campaign. Brahm PR

claim that media coverage has secured over six million ‘opportunities

to see’.



Verdict



While results for the Fire Brigade can also beattributable to other fire

safety initiatives, this was a very successful low-budget campaign that

has been used as a blueprint by both parties in other regions including

Cleveland and Greater Manchester, while also netting an IPR Certificate

of Excellence.



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