CIBSE: National News is a target too

National news programmes may not deliver the most targeted audience for building services engineers, but it certainly helps support the credibility of a professional institution to see it being consulted as an expert on the main news programmes.

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Finding a subject that is both topical and accessible for a mainstream audience is our ongoing challenge for the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, but the hot weather during the summer provided just that opportunity.

CIBSE is an expert in building performance – and one aspect of this expertise is the control of overheating in new build housing.

It was a shrewd guess that there MIGHT be hot spell during the summer, so we were prepared in advance.  We’d done the research, put together the stories, identified spokespeople and researched the case studies.  All the elements we needed for a proper PR story.

Then we waited for the right moment.  Getting national coverage is partly about creating the right story, but it’s also partly luck. An extended period of very hot weather provided the perfect climate for our story and we got going.

Over one week we set up some great news coverage: London Tonight started the ball rolling and was followed by coverage on BBC Breakfast, BBC News (lunchtime and evening), followed up with a full interview on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours and PM programmes.  We were also invited to provide a interviewee for a series of interviews with BBC local radio stations throughout one morning.

It was certainly a hectic few days – organising film crews, interviews and case studies to take place simultaneously at different locations.  Top marks to our unflappable CIBSE spokeswomen and the CIBSE team who rallied around to help us find locations and additional spokespeople when we needed them.

At the end of the process an audience reach of over 20 million provided a great platform for CIBSE’s expertise and also demonstrated to its members that the Institution is very much at the forefront of topical building engineering issues.

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