European steelmakers are planning to spend more than pounds 10 million
on a generic PR campaign to bring the industry’s image up to date.
The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer) has
invited proposals from four agencies for a wide-ranging PR and public
affairs campaign targeting decision makers and younger people.
Euro RSCG in Paris, Hill and Knowlton in Brussels, Shandwick Consultants
in London, and Manning Selvage and Lee’s Dutch subsidiary Adviesbureau
Hollander en van der Mey were asked to present initial proposals to
Eurofer in Brussels by the end of last week.
The aim is to ‘sing the praises of steel as a modern and flexible
material’ and to dispel the image of the industry as old fashioned and
environmentally unfriendly. ‘They want to stress steel’s recyclability
and to get rid of the smoke stacks image,’ said one source.
Steel has been losing out to other materials such as plastics and
aluminium. Even traditional end-users, such as car manufacturers, have
been experimenting with aluminium bodies. The campaign will address
perceptions about the uses to which steel can be put, as well as the
public image of the industry itself - which ‘lags behind the reality’.
The campaign is likely to run in all of Europe’s major steel producing
countries: the UK, Benelux, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and
Portugal. Although the idea is to complement, rather than duplicate the
work of its members at national level.
‘They’re looking for a more consistent approach,’ said one source.