The first quarter of 2012 saw a number of events and announcements that led to considerable media coverage for ICE, not least the Prime Minister delivering his pre Budget announcement on infrastructure at ICE’s headquarters, just weeks after the Prince of Wales delivered his first speech on infrastructure at the ICE/Halcrow lecture, also at One Great George Street.
The Institution was not simply a venue for Prime Minister’s announcement; Director General Nick Baveystock was invited to open the speech and ICE’s communications team worked closely with the No.10 press office to coordinate media activity. This is testimony to the respect and influence ICE and its members carry and ICE’s contribution to Government reports such as the IUK cost study and the National Infrastructure Plan.
ICE issued two media comments in response to the PM announcement which were picked up in a range of titles. Where ICE’s quote wasn’t included, coverage still referenced that the speech was appropriately delivered at the ICE. Total ‘reach’ topped 30 million, considerably raising ICE’s profile.
Shortly after David Cameron’s speech, the Chancellor delivered the 2012 Budget which gave ICE another chance to reiterate our calls. This led to some trade articles and regional coverage but it was ICE’s recommendations for the Budget, submitted in February, which gained the most Budget coverage. This included an article in the Daily Telegraph referring to ICE in the headline – probably a first for a national newspaper. The Guardian online Public Leader’s Network also carried a viewpoint on our Budget calls which was well received.
Another important media campaign for this quarter – and no doubt continuing through 2012 - has been around the droughts. This started when Defra called a summit in February and has continued as hose pipe bans have been announced around the country. Proactive media work has generated high levels of coverage across all media with highlights including the Radio 4 Today programme, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph and key trade magazines, reaching over 4 million people in total. This work is especially important not only to place ICE at the centre of the water debate, but to build credibility and profile ahead of the imminent State of the Nation report on Water, to be published in June.
The ICE media coverage report for Q1 2012 is available to download and read in full.