CAMPAIGNS: CONSUMER PR; Cohn & Wolfe’s powerful advice

Client: Energy Saving Trust PR Team: Cohn and Wolfe Campaign: Energy Advice Week Timescale: December 1995 - February 1996 Budget: pounds 100,000

Client: Energy Saving Trust

PR Team: Cohn and Wolfe

Campaign: Energy Advice Week

Timescale: December 1995 - February 1996

Budget: pounds 100,000

At the end of last year, the Department of the Environment asked the

Energy Saving Trust (EST) to organise the public relations activity for

Energy Advice Week for the first time.

The EST is a non-profit making company set up by the Government, British

Gas and 14 British electricity suppliers, to promote energy efficiency.

The EST commissioned Cohn and Wolfe to run the campaign.


The PR campaign complemented a pounds 200,000 local and regional press

and radio advertising campaign, aimed at raising consumer awareness of

energy efficiency. Cohn and Wolfe’s brief was to publicise the free

independent home energy saving advice service, available from 33 Local

Energy Advice Centres (LEACs) and stimulate calls to the recently

installed LEACs Freephone network.


Gallup research commissioned by Cohn and Wolfe revealed that monetary

rather than environmental concerns was the primary motivating factors

for energy savings - providing the agency with a strong hook for the


To replace the plethora of leaflets previously made available during

Energy Advice Week, the agency put together a single brochure Smart

Guide to Energy Saving which spelt out the potential energy savings

around the home.

PR focused on the estimated pounds 200 annual saving that households

could make through energy saving measures. The saving was given a

tangible value by equating it to possible contributions to the family

holiday and every caller to the Freephone number was automatically

entered into a free holiday prize draw.

Other newshooks gleaned from the research included findings on how

energy bills spark domestic rows. Energy Advice Week ended on

Valentine’s Day, so Cohn and Wolfe culminated the campaign with a

release on top ten energy saving tips for lovers.

TV presenter John Craven and LEACs experts acted as spokespeople

throughout the campaign and programmes including Blue Peter, Good

Morning with Anne & Nick, GMTV and BBC Breakfast News were taken up in

thermal imaging helicopters to record heat escaping through ill-clad

roofs. Pre-arranged radio phone-ins and promotions ran throughout the



Wide coverage in the national and regional press and broadcast media

resulted in a high response through the Freephone advice service. The

LEACs took 17,835 calls during the week. The response house used during

the previous year’s campaign received just 941 Freephone calls.

In all, around 27,000 leaflets were requested.


Cohn and Wolfe’s in-house analysis showed that the campaign secured over

91,000,000 editorial ‘impacts’ - based on the number of editorial

features and media readership/viewerships - although the increased use

of the Freephone number probably says more about the effectiveness of

the campaign.

Stephanie Moore, public relations executive at the Energy Saving Trust

says ‘We were very pleased with the campaign’s success, which we think

was because of the single-minded public relations plan, whose objectives

were very clear...the holiday competition made a big difference.’

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