PR Report for 2008 Conference

By Keegan Wilson. In a short space of time (8-9 days) we crammed a huge amount of activity. We wrote three press releases, contacted 169 journalists on each occasion (507 in total) and spoke with key journalists in our agreed target media – national broadsheets, television and selected magazines.

Results: You were interviewed twice by Bath FM. Energy Now has written about the conference and Dr Czich’s strategy for Europe (this article should be out next month and I should be receiving a copy, which I can give you).

Lewis Smith at The Times is open to writing about this and is considering it for next week (from 10 Nov on). I finally managed to speak with John Vidal at the Guardian. John is interested in this story and I am still working to get coverage from him, so should have a clearer idea shortly of whether he is going to write something on this.

Roger Harrabin is the main man at the BBC for environment and energy, and he is associated with lots of BBC programmes. Roger has not committed to giving any coverage, but he has expressed a keen desire in the Claverton Group and this story. So we have made a good contact.

Sarah Murkhajee is a writer for the The Guardian and reports for the BBC’s One Show. She is very keen on this and has expressed an interest in attending the next conference.

David Strahan is hoping to write about this for the New Scientist and believes if he can get it in there, an article in The Guardian will follow. This is something I am following up on, and I will be able to tell you more about it shortly.

Greenpeace and WWF have both thanked us for the information and asked us to keep them updated on news and events.

Simon Jenkins of The Guardian has also thanked us for the information and has asked to be kept updated.

Geraldine Faulkner of Sustainable Solutions has also thanked us, said it is an area she is interested in and has asked to be kept updated.

Helen Knight of the New Scientist has also thanked us and asked to be kept updated.

We have made some useful contacts with people who want to hear more from Claverton and who would like to attend future conferences. We are still hopeful that this will generate national coverage. Unfortunately, at the same time we were issuing this news the newspapers have been caught up in American election, which has dominated, and the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand fiasco.

Although we try and stay on top of all coverage we are not a clippings agency, so coverage might have been given to this or will be given to it that we are not aware of.

One of the challenges in this initial work with the Claverton Group was dealing with all the personalities and opinions. For any future media work we do together it is our suggestion that Substance deals exclusively with one or two members of the Claverton Group. This would need a volunteer or volunteers from the group to act as a filter, liasing with Substance PR and back to the group. This would ease the flow of communication and stop email pile-up, plus it will make the process simpler and mean the right messages are issued.

Also, timing is key. We are not sure what your future plans for PR are, but we recommend that for a projects such as the one we have just done, we would need to begin a few months in advance. This would ensure our information is correct and agreed and it also gives journalists sufficient to put the conference in their diaries and respond to the news.

If this is something you would like to pursue, it might be worth meeting to develop a longer-term strategy and plan.

Keegan Wilson, Consultant
Substance Public Relations & Communications Ltd
Understanding Communication
T: 023 8023 8237
M: 07939 285972
Boyne Cottage, 13 b Avenue Road, Southampton, SO14 6TR

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