|Case Study 22: Manchester is my Planet Pledge Campaign|
Residents of Manchester are invited to sign a pledge to take action against climate change
Summary of the case
The Manchester is my Planet Pledge Campaign is an attitude and behaviour change programme that forms part of the wider Manchester is my Planet Climate Change Programme which has operated across the city-region of Greater Manchester since 2005.
The wide Manchester is my Planet Climate Change Programme evolved from the Manchester: Green Energy Revolution (M:GER) feasibility study which took place took place over 2004-2005.
The Pledge Campaign can be seen as having three distinct phases:
1) Initial Pledge Campaign, August - December 2005
This phase saw the development of campaign design, branding and guidelines led by an private communica-tion consultancy Creative Concern, which utilized national climate change communications guidance pro-duced by Futerra on behalf of DEFRA. Funding totaling £160,000 was secured from a variety of partners to run this intensive PR and events focused campaign designed to get 10,000 citizens to sign up to a climate change pledge, culminating in a celebration event.
Significant levels of media coverage were generated through this first phase of the campaign. Collateral was produced including the Manchester is my Planet website, pledge cards, posters, campaign resource packs for use by partners and guidance to support pledgees in meeting their pledge commitment to reduce their CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010.
This phase of the campaign concluded on 1st November 2005 with a major event at Manchester Town Hall to report on the findings of the wider Manchester: Green Energy Revolution study. The event featured a photo-call to celebrate the achievement of the first 10,000 pledges. Follow-up surveys were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the campaign and provide recommendations for further development.
2) Development of Pledge Campaign, November 2005 - February 2008
The pledge campaign was continued with much lower budgets. However additional project funding totaling £55,000 was secured from DEFRA’s Climate Challenge Fund in September 2006, to undertake climate change commutations work with new and existing pledgees.
This phase saw greater development of the website, production of new marketing collateral. Greater use of local authority partners, affinity deals with private sector businesses and some training of pledgees in climate change communications.
This phase was characterized by lower operating budgets, in-house co-ordination with reduced communica-tion specialist support, and less intense PR activity. Pledge numbers increased from 10,000 to c.18,000 dur-ing this period.
Surveys of public attitudes to climate change were conducted during and after the campaign which demon-strated widespread support for local action on climate change and acknowledgement that individuals through their own actions at home and work had a part to play.
3) Move towards viral communications, March 2008 - present (August 2008)
A key change was the move away from paper-based to electronic communication, with a switch to solely e-newsletters. It also saw trials of a Facebook application, a new ‘pledge widget’ for installation in partners websites and a digital creative competition. Pledge numbers during this phase have increased from c.18,000 - c.20,300.