PR award finalists in four categories

We are absolutely buzzing to be shortlisted for FOUR PRMoment Awards, three for our work on Affinity Water’s ground-breaking water-saving campaign, SOS: Save Our Streams. But what role did we play in this game-changing movement?

We are absolutely buzzing to be shortlisted for FOUR PRMoment Awards, three for our work on Affinity Water’s ground-breaking water-saving campaign, SOS: Save Our Streams. But what role did we play in this game-changing movement?

Affinity Water is a water-only supply company covering South East England, home to some of the highest water-usage households in the country. Affinity Water set themselves an ambitious target of saving 21 million litres of water per day by 2025, which has never been achieved in the UK before – equivalent to 140 million cups of tea daily from the 1.8 million households they serve.

Pier joined a cohort of carefully selected agencies to deliver SOS: Save Our Streams, a campaign to encourage people to reduce their water wasting habits and save rare and endangered chalk streams.

Charged with the campaign PR, Pier delivered a packed summer of activations, kicking off with our memorable launch event ‘Stand-up for Our Streams’. This quirky, star-studded event was headlined by Sandi Toksvig and staged the day after lockdown ended. Sandi was joined by comedians’ Mark Watson, Eshaan Akbar and Helen Arney, who all performed original material, literally while standing in a stream, a world first. The jokes were themed around water wastage and stream conservation, and content from the event used extensively across the campaign, from social media and PR, to ECRM and stakeholder relations.

‘Tubitha’, an incredible oversized bathtub, 125 times the size of a regular bath, was also created for this campaign. This eye-catching piece of experiential activity toured eight major town centres, encouraging locals to sign up to the campaign, and was seen by over 390K people (41% above target). Tubitha also helped us engage with 5 MPs and 20 community figures.

The events were underpinned by range of other campaign activations, including mobilising a small army of micro influencers to deliver word-of-mouth activity in communities with higher water use, as well as other partnerships with content creators.

A robust media relations programme was also delivered, from briefings and press trips, to new news angles and broadcast days, we made sure all target media had a reason to talk about the campaign.

SOS was picked up by local and national press 85 times (37% over target), with a potential reach of 4.8 million people. Notable coverage highlights include a double page spread in The Observer, The Times, Good Morning Britain regional news, BBC Look East and the BBC Wildlife Magazine.

The website received over 400,000 visitors and more than 185,000 households have signed-up, saving more than 5 million litres of water every day. In fact, data shows that in July and August last year alone, an incredible one billion litres of water was proven to have been saved.

This makes SOS the UK’s biggest water-saving campaign ever.

The post-campaign evaluation survey found 50% of customers were aware of the campaign. 73% said being aware of the campaign “has caused them to take some form of action”.

Ed Barnes, Head of Demand Management at Affinity Water, said: 

“We asked the inter-agency team to develop a strategic platform and campaign to tackle water wasting. The SOS campaign concept looked nothing like what people would expect from a water company – its humour and bold, memorable imagery coupled with its integrated approach really cut through, with over 50% of customers in our catchment area remembering the campaign.”

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