Brent climate change
Table of Contents
Brent Climate Change Communications Strategy 2
THE NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY 2
THE BRENT CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY 2
Brent and Climate Change 3
What are the Communications Objectives? 3
Who are the Priority Audiences? 5
What will be the Communications Strategy? 6
Our Approach to Behaviour Change 6
Rolling out the Campaign Communications Strategy 8
Internal Communications and Understanding 9
STEP I STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND BUY-IN 9
STEP 2 DEVELOPMENT OF CAMPAIGN POSITIONING AND MESSAGING 9
More on ‘Take the Pledge’ 10
Residents’ Sample Pledge 11
STEP 3 GRAPHIC IDENTITY CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING 11
STEP 4 CONTENT PRODUCTION / MARKETING COLLATERAL 12
STEP 5 CAMPAIGN WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT 13
Social Media and Viral Communication 13
STEP 6 EVENTS CALENDAR 15
STEP 7 LAUNCH EVENT 15
STEP 8 PUBLIC AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGNS 15
Key Themes for Campaigns 16
Delivery Tools 17
STEP 9 COMMUNITY CHAMPION CLIMATE CHANGE TRAINING 17
STEP 10 MONITORING THE COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN 18
Brent Climate Change Communications Strategy
The purpose of this document is to help the Brent Climate Change Steering Group to develop
a systematic and effective approach to communicating the Climate Change Strategy in Brent
and encouraging action. It is anticipated that the document will be used to discuss
communications internally and help Brent develop its own costed Communications Plan. It is
not a communications plan in its own right.
This document assumes knowledge of the Brent Climate Change Strategy Framework, which
is referenced heavily throughout.
The authors also recommend that users of this document refer to a national strategy made
public in 2006, which is also referenced within this document. See more information on this in
The National Climate Change Communications Strategy
Since the UK Climate Change Programme was initiated in 2000, there has been a growing
realisation by Government of the need for a co-ordinated climate change communications
campaign, to change public attitudes and behaviour. A national Climate Change
Communications Strategy was commissioned by Defra in 2004 and “Tomorrow’s Climate –
Today’s Challenge” was made public in February 2006. Amongst its many recommendations
was the establishment of a Climate Challenge Fund, to support climate change
communications at a regional and local level. It also recommends that all climate change
communications plans should now organise communications programmes along the lines
proposed in order to ensure a consistency of messages.
The Brent Climate Change Strategy
The Brent Climate Change Strategy is a borough-wide strategy designed to enable everyone
who lives, works in and visits Brent, or has an interest or responsibility in the borough, to take
• Cut damaging emissions to minimise future climate change;
• Cope with extreme weather;
• Adapt to the impacts of climate change to reduce the negative effect on people,
businesses and the community.
There are five broad objectives designed to meet Brent’s Strategy’s aims.
Objective 1: To secure commitment from all relevant partners and to enable Brent to act
Objective 2: To work in partnership to achieve wide-ranging and inclusive solutions to
the challenge of climate change
Objective 3: To provide user-friendly information to those who need it
Objective 4: To collect evidence and continually assess progress
Objective 5: To mainstream climate change into our everyday activities
Brent’s Climate Change Strategy, Action Plan and Implementation Plan outline the actions
that the people of Brent will undertake to meet the objectives and deliver the aims of the
By communicating the Strategy through the appropriate channels, some of the Strategy’s
objectives will be met and steps towards securing commitment from partners and individuals
in Brent will develop.
Brent and Climate Change
As outlined in the Brent Climate Change Strategy, the problems associated with climate
change are caused by a combination of millions of decisions made by individual people. It is
therefore important that people in Brent “Think Global, Act Local”.
The issues highlighted in the Strategy will affect every single person within Brent, so action is
required from all. It is important for people to take responsibility for themselves and reduce
their vulnerability to climate change. This will reduce pressure on services so that they can
be used for people who are unable to look after themselves. At the same time, a response to
reducing emissions on an individual level will ensure that not only are people looking after
themselves, but also helping prevent further distress to friends, family and neighbours,
wherever they happen to be in the world.
Climate change presents a huge challenge to humankind. It also presents a significant
communications challenge as it affects everyone. Reaching the audience in Brent effectively
and within a realistic budget is therefore a considerable task. To meet this challenge, we
recommend answering three main questions before communications work is undertaken:
• What are the communications objectives?
• Who are the priority audiences?
• What will be the communications strategy?
Agreement in these three areas will help to develop a realistic communications plan.
What are the communications objectives?
We recommend that the communications objectives are based on the following:
• To increase awareness of and change attitudes towards climate change amongst the
public in Brent;
• To help engender longer term behaviour change amongst the target audience in
However, the current attitudes of our target audience towards climate change should play a
major role in helping to shape the strategy to meet these objectives.
We therefore recommend that a research phase is built into the Communications Plan to
obtain some current attitudes of target audiences towards climate change.
It is worth noting the results of some extensive focus groups and opinion survey evidence
carried out around five years ago and a table which was developed outlining the most critical
attitude barriers for the general public, and the corresponding desired attitude change:
Current Attitudes Desired Attitudes
1. Climate change cause and effect Climate change cause and effect is a UK,
happens ‘somewhere else’ local issue
2. Climate change is not urgent, seems Climate change is a ‘now’ and urgent issue
3. Climate change cause and effect is not Dealing with (and suffering the impacts of)
about me, it’s too big climate change starts with the individual
4. Dealing with climate change requires We can substitute rather than sacrifice things
painful sacrifice and make opportunity out of necessity
5. Understanding of the cause and effect of Understanding of the cause and effect of
climate change is low climate change is improved
6. Action on climate change is for poor, Action on climate change is aspirational and
unattractive people high status
7. People ‘underclaim’ knowledge of climate
People take pride in actions on climate
change actions to avoid cognitive
8. A general intolerance for policy changes The public (and target audiences) accept,
(e.g. fuel tax) that carry a short term and perhaps even demand, policy changes if
inconvenience but long term benefit they are clearly linked to climate change
Individuals associate actions to mitigate
9. Climate change is a ‘negative’ and
climate change as uplifting and with added,
10. Climate change is a separate Climate change links are made with health,
‘environmental’ issue economy, leisure and security issues
Source: Multi-market research conclusions, particularly the review undertaken by
Andrew Darnton, included in Appendix 1 of Climate Change Communications Strategy,
These attitudes might have changed or be different in Brent but they highlight an important
issue. A lot of communications work in the plan must be devoted to explaining the impact of
climate change – most particularly, its impact at a local level in Brent. The Strategy contains
some potent examples of how lives will be changed – these need to reach audiences in
strong, easy to understand messages.
As an additional point on the objectives, we recommend that Brent decides how its climate
change strategy will be measured, as this will also influence the communications objectives.
For example, measure the attitudes of the public towards climate change before and after the
communications work has started.
Who are the priority audiences?
The size of the target audience presents a significant challenge. Brent is London’s seventh
largest borough. It is home to 270,000 people, with the majority of residents from ethnic
minorities, and over 135 languages spoken. Brent is also home to 8,000 local businesses,
the majority of which are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs). There are also a high
proportion of refugees and asylum seekers, accounting for between seven and eight percent
of the population. All communication tools employed must reach the entire population, if not
using their first language, then a competent second language or through other mediums such
Activities in the Communications Plan need to address all the main themes stated in the
strategy. However, we recommend identifying priority audiences for different elements of the
Communications Plan. We have summarised the target audience as follows:
a. Brent Council
2. Public Services
a. Local Authority
b. Housing associations
c. The National Health Service
d. Police authorities
e. Fire brigade
f. Educational institutions
i. Schools, primary and secondary
ii. Universities and colleges
3. Private Sector
a. Small enterprises
b. Medium enterprises
c. Large enterprises
d. By sector, e.g., wholesale and retail
a. It is suggested that the simplest way to target residents is by age:
i. 05-11 years old for Primary School Children
ii. 12-18 years old for Secondary School Children
iii. 19-22 years old for Young Adults
iv. 23-55 years old for Adults
v. 55+ years old for Mature Adults
5. Community Groups
a. BRAIN provides a community directory for the Brent Borough Community
Network. The directory provides details on over 2000 local people,
community & voluntary groups and statutory organisations such as the police,
doctors, dentists and libraries.
i. Community Groups
1. 80+ volunteer groups
2. 80+ listed tenants and residents associations
3. 37 listed environment groups
4. 10 listed wildlife groups
5. 9 listed recycling groups
6. 34 listed religious groups
7. 49 listed youth clubs
We appreciate that the Brent Climate Change Strategy focuses on Brent’s diverse audience
and it will also be important to target communications to socio-economic groupings where
appropriate. This grouping and targeting of messages can be aided by PCT contacts.
What will be the Communications Plan?
Based on the agreed communications objectives, Brent needs to agree a Communications
Plan for achieving these objectives.
Our first recommendation for this is that it is long term. We recommend setting, at the very
least, a two year Communications Plan.
Secondly, we recommend that Brent develops a climate change campaign which has a strong
identity, a call to action and online portal where information on the climate change campaign
is accessible to everyone. We recommend that information on this website is split according
to the main audience groups above.
Thirdly, we recommend that the Strategy draws on the Defra behaviour change model (see
below) of Enable, Engage, Exemplify, and Encourage to achieve the desired result of
Catalyse = behaviour change.
Finally, we recommend that the Communications Strategy and the Communications Plan are
owned and delivered by the leadership team. The Council will support delivery and strategy
progress will be reported to the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP).
We have provided a summary on how this strategy could be rolled out in a series of 10 steps
(see section below).
Our approach to behaviour change
In devising a Communications Plan to achieve the objectives highlighted in the Brent Climate
Change Strategy, we recommend adopting an approach that uses elements of the Defra
model for changing behaviour through policy making (see diagram below). It aims to
establish new and more sustainable ways of living, working and producing and for them to
become the social norm (see diagram below).
Our process will follow the process of Enable, Engage, Exemplify, and Encourage to achieve
the desired result of Catalyse = behaviour change.
Our first communications challenge will be to provide our target audiences with the education,
skills and information to make responsible decisions that will ultimately lead to a change in
The Brent Climate Change Steering Group will be encouraged to look at the most effective
techniques to encourage and, where necessary, enforce a change in behaviour for the target
The Communications Plan will need to address the engagement of target audiences to be
successful. While the Brent Climate Change Steering Group can put in place the facilities,
information, education and training to enable a behavioural change, the target audiences
need to take responsibility for what they do. By involving the Local Strategic Partnership
(LSP) and the Brent Sustainability Forum (BSF) early in the process, the communications
plan has a greater chance of success by gaining an insight into the key information/messages
that resonate with the audiences affected. This consultation and engagement with target
audiences over a long period of time will help to identify what they are passionate about and
highlight existing examples to which they can relate.
Brent Climate Change Steering Group, the LSP and BSF must be seen by the target
audiences to be leading by example in changing behaviour. In doing so, they can assist in
bringing about significant changes amongst the wider target audience groups.
The ultimate goal of the Climate Change Strategy and Communications Plan is to promote
and deliver lasting change that develops new habits/behaviours and social norms.
This change in behaviour is a process that is unlikely to occur over night, more realistically
over several months and years. As such, the Communications Plan is recommended to be
developed and implemented over a period of 18-24 months.
Rolling out the climate change campaign
In developing and implementing the climate change campaign, it is recommended that the
following process will deliver great success in actively engaging the target audiences across
the Brent population.
1. Stakeholder engagement and buy-in
i. Identification of the key communication delivery partners
2. Development of campaign positioning and messaging
3. Graphic identity concept development and testing
4. Content production/marketing collateral
5. Campaign website development and testing
6. Events calendar
i. Brent Council will aim to offer different environmental programs throughout
ii. Identification of event subjects, and organisation of an annual schedule, to
engage residents, business and communities
7. Launch event
8. Public awareness raising campaign
9. Community Champions climate change training
10. Monitoring the communications campaign.
It is anticipated that the time frame will take place over a period of 18 to 24 months. A
fundamental element of launching the climate change campaign is to ensure that by the time
the launch event takes place, all the associated marketing collateral (e.g., traditional literature,
website, etc.) are in place, to enable the campaign to have an immediate effect for target
audiences to begin to engage with the Brent Climate Change Strategy.
The communications campaign should formulate, design and deliver the following outputs:-
• A communications plan and guidance handbook for delivery partners;
• A visual identity including the logo;
• Applications of the climate change campaign identity to design/artwork stage where
these can be utilised in signage etc. (i.e., as generic tools);
• A launch event plan, which should be used primarily to reach delivery partners, brief
the media, and to initially generate target audience awareness.
Internal Communications and Understanding
It is important that the Communications Plan is agreed with delivery stakeholders before it is
rolled out to the public. Internal department communication and buy-in of the Strategy within
Brent Council and its leaders and the LSP is essential to ensure a strong leadership and steer
within the borough.
Learning lessons with partners, such as the PCT for their experience with public health
campaigns, should also be highlighted as important at this stage.
This document assumes that the Brent Climate Change Steering Group has been formed and
includes strategic leaders from Brent Council, NHS and PCT, police, fire, business (e.g., Park
Royal Partnership), community groups representation (e.g., BrAVA) and other strategic
stakeholders that will be involved in delivery (e.g., LDA and Groundwork), as specified in the
Step 1 Stakeholder Engagement and Buy-in
In developing and implementing the Communications Plan in line with the Climate Change
Strategy, the critical first step is engagement of the key stakeholders who will play a part in
delivering the Strategy.
It is suggested that, in the first instance, a series of meetings to showcase the Strategy to key
stakeholders are held, initially with:
• Brent Council Department Heads (to report back to staff);
• Local Strategic Partnership (key members);
• Brent Sustainability Forum;
• Other identified stakeholders.
Following this, engagement is recommended with the following entities through the Local
Public Service Board delivery arm of the LSP:
• North West London Hospitals NHS Trust;
• Brent NHS Trust;
• Central & NW London Mental Health NHS Trust;
• Central & North West London College;
• London West Learning and Skills Council;
• London Fire Brigade, Brent;
• Metropolitan Police Service in Brent;
• Transport Services;
• Three Valleys Water;
• Thames Water.
Once the Communications Plan is agreed, we recommend communicating the results of the
Climate Change Strategy and initial ideas on taking this forward. The strategy should be
made available in a number of versions split by audience group. This initial communications
work can be to raise awareness of the issue and raise the profile of key issues.
Step 2 Development of Campaign Positioning and Messaging
It is clear that one of the key success factors of the communications campaign will be in the
development of appropriate messaging. In order to achieve success, the campaign must be
communicated to the identified target audiences in a way that is:
The initial message received by the target audiences must be powerful and
sufficiently attention grabbing to, at a minimum, make them want to investigate taking
the pledge. They must know from the start that the campaign can deliver meaningful
impact to their lives. Case studies are the most powerful tool we have to demonstrate
impact and, as such, case studies/e-bulletins will be considered as a marketing
collateral tool for communication.
All communications and representations of the campaign must share a common
message that takes into account our understanding of the identified target audiences
and what they are likely to respond to across the Brent resident and business
demographic. Marketing collateral/content production must be consistent with
national and regional messaging, e.g. A C T o n C O2
(http://campaigns.direct.gov.uk/actonco2/home.html) and emphasise the same key
message in order to solidify the campaign identity over time and achieve the Brent
Climate Change Strategy objectives.
Campaign messages must be original and catchy, simple and well packaged, so that
they are easily understood and conveyed to the identified target audiences. This key
success factor applies to every aspect of communications about the campaign, from
verbal and written communication, through to the website. We must carefully select
the most appropriate type of communication for each identified target audience.
Messages must also be simple and clear enough that the target audiences are able
to pass them on without the key messages being diluted.
4. Engaging Campaign Audiences with “I Take the Pledge”
In order to build awareness and drive up conversions from awareness to action, “I
Take the Pledge” will be the call to action for actively engaging target audiences. “I
Take the Pledge” will be launched through either one or a combination of the
following internet routes:
• Brent Climate Change Microsite
• As a Brent Council Minisite
• Partnering with a national scheme such as Cred
Residents, businesses and communities will either register their email address,
company name or group through “I Take the Pledge”, or through ticking pledges in
which they agree to actively engage. Each pledge will provide information regarding
the individual and collective benefits of actively engaging, as well as describing key
points to note for changing habits to ensure the pledge is successfully adopted.
The pledge system will be promoted to target audiences through a public awareness
5. Brent borough-wide active engagement campaign
The opportunity exists for all Brent residents and commercial entities to become
actively engaged in the campaign. We anticipate that by saturating the Brent
borough region with messages about the campaign to increase brand/graphic identity
recognition, coupled with putting practices/facilities in place for changing behaviour,
active engagement will become easier in future years.
More on ‘Take the Pledge’
As per the action outlined in the Brent Climate Change Strategy, a high profile public pledge
system will be introduced. The target audiences will be encouraged to take an environmental
pledge and learn the simple things that each target audience group can do to improve the
environment, by making easy choices enabling them to help create a healthier, cleaner and
safer environment. The pledge will be flexible for potential modification depending upon the
target audience, e.g. resident, private sector, community group, etc. An example of the
pledge residents would be asked to take is provided as follows:
Residents’ Sample Pledge
Every Brent resident will be asked to produce and commit to five simple actions, where they
will be informed that by even taking the smallest action, if taken up collectively, it will amount
to a big change. By joining the Brent Climate Change initiative they will be helping to make
Brent an environmentally friendly London borough that sets the benchmark for other
For example, residents could pledge to:
• I PLEDGE to replace four lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs
• I CAN eliminate x lbs/kgs of carbon dioxide emissions over the life of the bulbs
• TOGETHER all Brentonians can prevent x tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is
the equivalent of removing x cars from the road
• I PLEDGE to turn off the tap when brushing my teeth
• I CAN save x litres of water a day
• TOGETHER all Brentonians can save enough water to fill x Olympic-sized swimming
• I PLEDGE to replace at least one car trip per month with walking, bicycling or public
• I CAN decrease carbon dioxide emissions by x lbs/kgs
• TOGETHER all Brentonians can decrease emissions by x billion tons – the equivalent
of x round trips to the sun
• I PLEDGE to plant or care for a city tree by watering, mulching, and removing litter
• I CAN help to capture x lbs of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere
• TOGETHER all Brentonians can help capture more than x million lbs/kgs of carbon
dioxoide, the equivalent of x litres of fuel
• I PLEDGE to replace plastic shopping bags with reusable shopping bags
• I CAN eliminate x bags per year
• TOGETHER, all Brentonians can eliminate x million bags and save x tons of waste
from going to a landfill
Step 3 Graphic Identity Concept Development and Testing
In launching the communications campaign to support the strategy, it is recommended that a
graphic identity is developed that is recognisable to the target audiences. The development
of the graphic identity should incorporate a branding platform, a logo and a slogan(s), to
attract target audiences from across the Brent borough region to take the pledge.
The graphic identity will need to reflect the overall concept of the campaign, in that it should
be original and catchy. It must be engaging, dynamic, and all encompassing of the value sets
from the Brent-wide residential and commercial region. We must ensure that there are no
restrictions on the usage of the graphic identity and, therefore, we need to make sure that the
designs can be used effectively in both colour and in black and white.
The campaign’s graphic identity should be reinforced at every opportunity, ensuring that all
material produced is branded and includes graphic identity guidelines and templates in a
marketing toolkit for delivery partners to use on any material produced. As the Climate
Change Strategy identified working with existing local stakeholders and training Community
Champions, a partner/accreditation logo for those stakeholders, community groups, etc.
should be developed to actively enforce the campaign, which can be displayed online and in
related marketing collateral. This would act as third party promotion for the campaign,
generating further awareness and endorsement across the Brent region.
Case studies and e-bulletins are recommended as a communications tool, with guidelines for
producing them to be developed early in the process for developing content
production/marketing collateral. Working with stakeholders local to the Brent borough, the
stakeholders, community groups, etc. will be encouraged to gather relevant information and
images for creating public-facing content. Approval from stakeholders will be required prior to
releasing the final version.
Electronic versions of content production/marketing collateral should be available for
download from the campaign website. E-bulletins should be distributed to e-mail addresses
of those individuals registering with the campaign website. Additionally, case studies could
form part of the content to quarterly newsletters circulated through Brent Council’s existing
mailshots to residential and commercial target audiences.
Step 4 Content Production / Marketing Collateral
We recommend producing marketing collateral to support the marketing of the Brent Climate
Change Strategy, which will be made available to Brent’s Climate Change Steering Group,
who will direct the Brent Climate Change Strategy and Communications Plan. As the local
authority will support delivery of the Communications Plan, all marketing collateral will also be
made available to Brent Council and Brent Sustainability Forum.
In line with our own environmental policy, we recommend and propose to:
• Use environmental printing technologies whenever possible;
• Print on paper/material with a recycled/post consumer waste content.
The collateral and material produced will take into account each segment of the target market.
We recommend using the key messages identified in the Climate Change Strategy document
and the additional cultural variations identified in the target audiences through engaging with
key groups to ensure that all the marketing material is relevant and targeted to the specific
audience. To ensure value for money, generic materials/templates should be created, such
as banner and poster designs, and amended using tailored messaging to each specific
audience according to the 135 languages and cultural issues unique to Brent.
Upon completion of the consultation process with target audience groups for this campaign,
identifying what key messaging and communications tools they are likely to respond to, we
anticipate use of a range of collateral. Suggested and recommended collateral for
development, to ensure maximum visibility for building awareness of the Climate Change
Campaign, graphic identity and key messages might include:
Printed collateral E-tools
• Banners • E-cards
• Case studies • E-bulletins/case studies
• Flyers • E-newsletters
Brent Climate Change Steering Group, with input from Brent Sustainability Forum, will be
encouraged to generate ideas for determining how the marketing collateral will be made
visible across the Brent borough. Feedback from consultation during the engagement phase
of the Communications Strategy and Communications Plan will provide guidance on
distribution of collateral depending upon target audiences. All e-tools will be available through
the campaign website(s), with e-bulletins/case studies distributed via registered e-mail
Step 5 Campaign Website Development
The official campaign website should be made available in English and other key languages
for the people of Brent. The website will be hosted through Brent Council web servers. We
recognise that the website will be a critical aspect of the campaign’s communications
strategy, supporting other marketing activities with a Brent-wide online presence that can
reinforce the key messages from the launch and throughout the execution of the campaign. It
will contain, or link to, all relevant information relating to the campaign, including electronic
and audio-visual material produced as part of the communications campaign.
The homepage will contain key messages and navigation to the sections outlined below. In
addition, where possible, we would recommend embedding clips from the Viral Media
channels (such as YouTube) into the campaign website homepage, by way of making the site
more engaging and maximising the exposure of the media channels adopted.
Examples of campaigns which have implemented this approach can be viewed at the links
listed as follows:
At this stage we have identified the following sections for the website, although this is subject
to review and expansion following consultation with the key target audience groups:
• About the Campaign;
• Event Information;
• “I Take the Pledge”;
• Goodwill Ambassadors;
o Including graphic identity and media pack;
• Campaign Materials
o Including links to Social Media Groups (e.g. Facebook) and Viral Media
Channels (e.g. YouTube).
Based on our experience of developing similar websites, we strongly advocate exploring
alternative options that are more efficient and effective to using HTML. The inefficiencies
associated with HTML are further multiplied for this campaign by the requirement for the site
to be available in more than the English language, given the 135 languages spoken in the
Brent borough. In not using HTML, it would enable the campaign website to be comparatively
more engaging, dynamic, effective, and to ensure efficiency in the translation process. Our
preferred approach would be to make use of a Content Management System.
Social Media and Viral Communication
We recognise the enormous potential that Social Networking sites, such as Facebook and
MySpace, and Viral multi-media platforms, such as YouTube videos, offer for delivering the
campaign strategy, particularly for younger audience groups, in terms of their:
• Wide reach to allow access to Brent target audiences;
• Ability to convey the key messages of the campaign in an emotional and thought
The Communications Plan should detail the specific use of Social Media and Viral
Communication channels to be adopted for achieving the aims of the campaign. The following
outlines some possibilities for the application of these tools to be considered during the
campaign. The most effective communications channels to be used will be identified in the
consultation phase with key target audience groups, ensuring that the campaign reaches the
identified target audience(s) using tools to which they are most like to respond.
Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace allow friends and contacts to
find each other, communicate and play games with each other, share information and join
common interest groups. These sites offer access to a large potential audience, although the
audience type varies from site to site (different age groups and even countries have
preferences for different websites). There are a number of ways that such sites could be
used by the campaign, including:
• Creation of a profile or interest group that represents the campaign within the site, so
that users can sign up to the cause, learn more about it and in the process promote it
to their “friends”;
• Creating an online application within the social network that allows participants to add
to their profiles – this could for example identify and keep track of steps central to the
campaign (such as allowing a patch of garden to go wild).
Use of Blogs
Blogging websites, where users can post articles in the style of entries in an online journal,
have become commonplace across a vast range of topics, including climate change. Blogs
offer the ability to rapidly disseminate information (with the opportunity to update frequently) to
those interested in a specific topic. Effectively exposing blogs to Internet Search through
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and by undertaking link exchanges with other similar sites
potentially increases their visibility with target audience(s). Existing blogs that cover related
topics could be utilised by the campaign by linking to these blogs. There is also the possibility
of delivering elements of the campaign strategy using blogs e.g., setting up dedicated blogs
for the Brent Climate Change Champions.
Video Clips (e.g. YouTube)
Websites such as YouTube allow Internet users to watch video on demand – to find the
content that they want to watch, as opposed to what is broadcast to them on regular TV
channels. YouTube enables users to broadcast themselves over the Internet to whoever
wants to watch them. Services like YouTube were initially predominantly used for personal
purposes, such as maintaining contact or sharing video with friends, although it is now
becoming commonplace for organisations to take full advantage of these services; particularly
through the creation of “Viral” content - videos or multimedia that are engaging and users
share with each other by word of mouth or by sending a message about the content. This
content then spreads “virally”.
Additionally, it is possible to create a “Channel” on YouTube – which is essentially a collection
of video clips from one source. Users can subscribe to these channels to keep up-to-date with
new videos from a preferred source.
The campaign could identify as part of its strategy the adoption of YouTube (or a similar
service) – creating channel(s) with video clips that convey the messages of the campaign.
Channels could be created for different audience groups, to appropriately tailor the
messaging and content for each group. Creating a Viral video clip can be challenging and
expensive – as there is no magic formula – therefore the strategy will have to carefully identify
how appropriate Viral clips could be created.
Wiki websites allow Internet users to collaborate by editing and refining shared content. The
most popular and well known of these sites is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia that
enables users to contribute articles, debate and refine content submitted by anyone online
who wishes to participate. The campaign could utilise Wikipedia through the improvement of
content on relevant European biodiversity related topics, thereby improving the availability of
information on the subject. This approach suits the target audience that wants to seek out
information on biodiversity but would probably not work well for other audience groups. The
campaign could also create a specific Wiki for promoting biodiversity and allow for the public
to discuss means of engaging in biodiversity.
Monitoring hits to the communication channels discussed above could provide an indication of
the level of active engagement achieved through these online tools and could additionally be
used later as a possible metric for determining the success of the campaign objectives.
Step 6 Events Calendar
In order to ensure that the target audiences are consistently engaged with the Climate
Change Strategy, an annual calendar of events will be developed for the Brent borough, to
offer different environmental programmes throughout the year.
Events held for the different target audiences might include:
• Monthly recycling days
• Annual green festival
• Farmers’ markets
2. Private Sector
• Green business conference
3. Community Groups
• Park Stewardships
The creation of volunteer stewardship opportunities enabling communities to not only
experience the natural areas in the Brent boroughs, but also to contribute in a
meaningful way to the ecological health of the areas.
Step 7 Launch Event
A PR launch event with press release will be organised to promote the campaign, its
objectives and generally showcase the strategy at a public event. The launch will be
introduced by a Brent figurehead e.g. the Mayor of Brent. The event will seek to transmit a
specific message for Brent relating to how climate change is important for the local
environment and the impact it has and will continue to have on local residents, businesses
and communities. Strong media and public information activity will accompany the event and
this will use the outputs of the previous recommended tasks undertaken in this project (i.e.
graphic identity, Communications Strategy, etc.), subject to the approval of the Brent Climate
Change Steering Group. To maximise media interest and engagement, the event will be
organised close to a significant location of interest in Brent, where possible, perhaps in a
location impacted by climate change.
It is envisaged the launch event will take place when the campaign website and other
marketing collateral specific for target audiences of residents, private sectors and community
groups, etc., will be complete. For the launch event, we recommend developing effective
media partnerships and releasing information through the Internet, discussion forums, and
radio, TV etc., budget permitting. We will also look to build a network of Climate Change
Champions (from each target audience), perhaps including renowned and credible media
personalities from the Brent area, who can identify themselves with the key messages of the
campaign and will be influential and respected by local residents, local businesses and local
communities. A sample profile of a Brent Climate Change Champion should be developed in
order for delivery partners to identify appropriate candidates.
The launch event will be timed to include the public introduction of the campaign
website/microsite, with a selection of additional marketing collateral developed for specific
target audiences also available, in languages other than English that are common in Brent.
Step 8 Public Awareness Raising Campaigns
Information campaigns are not envisaged as a way of providing detailed advice, but as a way
of informing residents of the simple steps they need to take to adapt to climate change.
Awareness has been successfully raised in some other areas of the UK or among other
segments of British society in recent years, principally through mainstream media. However,
the more complex character and highly transient population of Brent, in exactly the same way
as many other urban populations, has prevented the issue becoming a dominant theme in
Repeated campaigns will be needed and it is suggested that different themes are used per
campaign, with the view to repeat campaigns to reinforce messages.
Information campaigns on a local level are most effective when reinforcing national
campaigns. Therefore, planning communications timetables around national campaigns
where possible will give most value.
Timetables for national campaigns are usually released quite late on so initial planning in time
for campaign release will help.
Example Key Themes for Campaigns
Extreme weather is an unavoidable consequence of climate change. Are you ready for it? The
first step is to find out if you’re at risk from floods. Advice on keeping floodwaters out or
recovering quickly following flood inundation should be made available.
N.B. This would only be required in targeted flood risk areas and the communication should
be in support and partnership with the Environment Agency and water companies.
As well as floods, climate change is likely to lead to more droughts. Are you doing all you can
to conserve water? This can be as simple as turning off the tap when you brush your teeth.
Our water is an increasingly precious resource. It’s up to us to save it.
Help Save Wildlife
These changes in climate are happening too quickly for some species to adapt - but we can
help. For example, installing a pond in your garden can allow the wildlife in your area to thrive.
Stay Safe in Extreme Weather Conditions
Extreme weather conditions can make travel risky and unreliable. Plan how you can avoid
travelling when the weather is bad – for example, using technology to work from home – so
you’re fully prepared when severe weather warnings are in place.
Become an Asset to your Community
Emergency response volunteering, for your local Red Cross, for example, is more important
than ever. It’s vital that you know how to help others in case of an emergency, like a flood.
Stay Healthy in Heat Waves
Health in heat waves: See Heat Wave Plan
Food hygiene in warm temperatures.
• Guidance on paving over driveways
• Guidance on retrofitting your home to improve temperature control and efficiency
• Insuring your home.
• Poster and leaflet campaign delivered through pledge website
• Poster and leaflet materials available for community groups and schools
• Community radio campaign
• Brent Council mailshots, piggy backing onto existing mailshots e.g. council tax,
ensuring that the Brent population without internet access are directly engaged.
Media that can be used through Brent Council’s Communications and Consultations Teams,
in conjunction with the key tools listed above in Steps 3 to 5, include:
• Face-to-face channels • Consultation Forums
• Workshops • Schools extranet
• Steering Group Meetings • Printed channels
• Working Group Meetings • Brent Magazine
• Road shows • Environment & Culture News and
other departmental news letters
• Network • Local press – press releases
• Training sessions • Insight (internal Council magazine)
• Staff inductions • Posters
• Electronic channels • Leaflets
• E-mail/e-bulletins/case studies • Promotional items
• Intranet • Community Radio
• Internet • Community Groups
• E-learning • CD Roms
Step 9 Community Champion Climate Change Training
Key members of community, resident, faith and voluntary groups in Brent will pledge to serve
the needs of their communities by undertaking training in climate change issues. An initial
communication for volunteers to undergo training should be sought through Brent Council
It is suggested that this is piloted for one area or community segment of Brent, to ensure
lessons are learned and applied ready for borough wide roll-out.
The Brent Climate Change Steering Group Coordinator will deliver the training sessions in
partnership with a supporting organisation at a council venue to minimise costs.
The training sessions will include:
1. An introduction to climate change
2. Consequences for Brent community groups and residents if action is not taken
3. Simple steps that can be encouraged to reduce emissions in:
Step 1: The home
Step 2: Transport
Step 3: At work
Step 4: As a consumer
4. Simple steps that can be encouraged to reduce vulnerability and adapt to climate
The Community Champions will also be provided with an information pack containing:
1. Information on climate change and its impact on residents;
2. Key messages to deliver back to their community group(s);
3. Leaflets and posters for their community group(s).
N.B. Information should be provided in relevant languages and be kept very simple and eye-
A standard reporting form to send back to the Brent Climate Change Steering Group on how
many people the Community Champion has reached will also be developed.
Step 10 Monitoring the communications campaign
Ultimately, the success of the communications campaign will be determined by the number of
people within Brent who change their behaviour. At each stage of the communications
campaign, we recommend measuring outputs and outcomes, depending upon the
communication tools adopted for each phase. Measurement tools are likely to include:
1. The number of unique hits to the campaign website;
2. The number of individual target audience(s) to register e-mail addresses with the
3. The number of unique visitors “taking the pledge” for the Brent Climate Change
4. The number of individuals and organisations becoming actively involved in relevant
community groups, either through formal membership of measured attendance;
5. The number of individuals and organisations to attend events scheduled in the annual
climate change events calendar.
The above list is not exhaustive, but provides an insight into the types of measurement that
could be implemented.