Weatherman Michael Fish found himself in hot water when PRG enrolled him to launch East Sussex Energy Partnership’s solar energy campaign on June 9th.
The scheme is offering households free and discounted solar panels for heating water – and because a picture is worth a thousand words, PRG staged a photo call in which the famous meteorologist soaked in a hot bath surrounded by sunflowers. A selection of photos were sent out with the news release to regional media and national photographic agencies.
The PR-power of a great photo was confirmed the next day when the Daily Telegraph’s website featured the photo shown here as one of its ‘Pictures of the day’. The following Monday, The Guardian’s G2 section ran another of the photos with a humorous article headlined ‘Michael Fish in the bath? Stop the nudity now!’
Similar photos were published by a host of regional newspapers and websites, explaining how grants are available to help privately owned and privately rented households install solar panels to cut their carbon emissions and energy bills.
To tell the more serious side of the story, leaders of the four Councils jointly running the scheme were also on hand at the launch to talk to journalists and were quoted in the news release.
News reports about the scheme were broadcast on local radio stations and BBC1’s Politics Show (south east edition) interviewed a representative of the East Sussex Energy Partnership live on 21 June in the garden of an ‘eco’ house in the county.
The simultaneous appearance of press coverage and advertising stimulated huge public interest. Just three weeks after the launch, the £12,000 marketing campaign had attracted 450 enquiries with a potential installation value of more than £2 million.