Best Practice from Lawton PR
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is currently working in partnership with a range of local authorities, not-for-profit organisations, retailers, Royal Mail and other companies to run the largest portable battery collection trials ever carried out in the UK.
The objective of the trials is to help inform and shape the best strategy for the UK to meet the requirements of the EU Batteries Directive. The Directive requires the collection for recycling of 25% of household batteries by 2012 and 45% by 2016. Current collection rates in the UK are approximately three per cent.
Our objective for this campaign was to raise awareness for the WRAP battery recycling trials taking place throughout the UK. WRAP trialled several different types of battery collection methods; kerbside collection, retailer take-back, community drop-off and postal in order to assess the best strategy for the UK to meet the requirements of the EU Batteries Directive.
Our challenge was to increase local awareness of the schemes as well as educate, excite and inform communities through public relations and consequently increase battery recycling rates in the trial areas.
To instigate real behavioural change among local residents in the trial areas, it was important to raise awareness that battery recycling is safe, easy and helps protect the environment by reducing the amount of waste going directly to landfill.
To achieve this, distinct media relations campaigns were rolled out to target each area and scheme individually. Our PR programme was firmly based on regular audience engagement.
We’ve delivered ongoing PR activity across the country to launch various trials, as well as marked the first anniversary of the kerbside trials, handled recycling trade media relations, facilitated partner workshops, drafted features articles and attended community events. We also acted as a consultancy to the partners, providing advice on how they can best elevate the profile of their scheme in their local area.
We worked hard to sustain regular contact with our target audiences in order to encourage a long term, sustainable behaviour change. The success of this is attributable to two factors.
Firstly we’ve created strong relationships with our key stakeholders including our retail partners (Argos, Tesco, Currys, Homebase, Dixons and B&Q) and local authority and kerbside partners. Secondly, we ensured that momentum was maintained behind the schemes by regularly delivering PR activity across the trial areas.
This was a complex programme with lots of constituent parts but we worked in close partnership with our WRAP clients and with the appointed marketing agency to successfully deliver a consistent, regular and compelling campaign message that drove the desired action.
In just one year a total of 273 pieces of coverage were achieved throughout 14 trial areas as well as trade press features in key publications such as Recycling and Waste World and letsrecycle.com.
Other publications covering the story included; The Evening Standard and London Lite, The Liverpool Echo, Southern Daily Echo as well as a front page story in the Exmouth Herald.
Enthusiasm for the trials among local residents is also reflected in the three million batteries collected to date through all the schemes.
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