Switching the North West on to Energy Efficiency
Brief and Objectives
Electricity North West is the region’s electricity distribution network operator (DNO) and powers five million people’s lives across the North West. Investing £1.8bn from 2015-2023 in the region’s overhead lines and underground cables, last year it delivered the best reliability ever seen in the North West. Networks are often an unseen part of the energy mix, but as we use more electricity and connect more renewable technology to the network, customers are increasingly relying on the organisation.
Firework PR was briefed to announce Electricity North West’s YouGov research findings to help position the organisation as a champion of energy efficiency, and a responsible partner to consumers looking to implement efficiency changes.
The campaign needed to support the company in its wider organisational objectives – to increase awareness, understanding and trust levels with customers to earn revenue from its regulator, Ofgem and grow its bottom line.
- Build awareness of Electricity North West among a consumer audience
- Encourage consumers and employees to improve their energy efficiency
- Position Electricity North West as a pioneer by garnering support from influencers
Rationale behind campaign, including research and planning
Electricity North West’s research identified that people weren’t embracing renewable technology or energy efficiencies adequately enough for a sustainable future. We saw a communications opportunity that would extend far beyond the initial findings, and have significant media appeal, helping position the organisation as the leading DNO in the conversation on energy efficiency. It would also help drive the organisation’s broader objectives.
Strategy and tactics
Using our insights, we developed a campaign theme – ‘Switched On’ – providing longevity and an ongoing legacy for Electricity North West. Creatively, the campaign was derived from the company’s role in the community – keeping people’s electricity switched on, while switching them on to the importance of energy efficiency. The campaign was split into three phases. Phase 1 kicked off with the launch of the YouGov research findings which were developed into a national news story. Phase 2 then consisted of the launch of an Energy Persona Test via bespoke branded website to engage with consumers and colleagues. We then developed three creative energy personas for media and consumer appeal – Energy Drain Jane, Energy Steady Eddie, Energy Busting Beth. This was launched announcing a Campaign to save consumers £117m in energy costs. Finally, for Phase 3, we announced the findings of the Energy Persona test, providing local comparisons.
The campaign (for the first three phases) achieved 51 pieces of tier one national, local, trade and broadcast coverage securing a total reach of 93,352,916. A total 1,506 of energy persona tests were completed and four case studies were secured. External audience research showed customer awareness of Electricity North West increased year on year from 56% (January 2017) to 63% (January 2018). In addition, the campaign was endorsed by two local MPs and two partners; The Carbon Coop and National Energy Action.
"It has been great to be involved in a campaign that has engaged so many customers. The more people understand our role, the better our reputation is. The Switched-On campaign has been instrumental and has seen our consumer awareness and understanding grow considerably, hitting organisational targets ahead of deadline."Paul Bircham, Commercial Strategy and Support Director at Electricity North West
"Hitting the stretching awareness, understanding and trust targets was key for us as we earn revenue from Ofgem through our customer service scores. In this way, increased awareness, understanding and trust directly impacts our bottom line"Jonathan Morgan, External Communications Manager at Electricity North West