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Case Studies ‘Fighting the Big Freeze’ PR campaign ‘Fighting the Big Freeze’ PR campaign


Energyhelpline is an independent price comparison service that gives customers advice on gas and electricity deals.


•    Capitalise on the ‘big freeze’ last winter and drive visitors to the website
•    Raise awareness of’s price comparison service
•    Stress the importance of switching to find the best energy deal
•    Secure coverage in target media

Strategy and plan

LEWIS pulled together information about how many people had switched energy provider using’s comparison service in 2009 and used this to drive press interest. The team sent out a press release about the effect of the cold snap on energy bills using calculations of how high bills had been because of the cold weather and high energy prices. The release was headlined: “Record Energy Bills Turn Heat On British Consumers” and told how average households were facing record-high winter bills of £500.
This was followed up with an advice guide on saving money.

Additional tactics

To keep up the momentum, LEWIS also made Freedom of Information requests to the main Government departments to find out what their heating bills were. We collated the information and established the Home Office HQ had a £1 million-plus bill and that departments were using different suppliers, not necessarily the most economical ones.

Measurement and evaluation

Coverage included pieces in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Sunday Mirror, Daily Star, Sunday Times, The Independent, Daily Express, London Evening Standard, Press Association, key regional publications and more than 50 different websites.


The strategy used a news event – the unseasonably cold weather – to drive home the message that customers needed to go online to find the best energy deals and were wasting money in not doing so. The additional Freedom of Information tactic also emphasised how government departments were also paying more for their energy than they needed to and should also review their suppliers.

Results saw a 79% increase in people switching suppliers and an 88% increase in enquiries.

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