Our ‘Beauty is in the eye of the gasholder’ campaign has won the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ inaugural Excellence Award for best Construction, Property or Infrastructure Campaign.

Copper’s campaign, centred around the dismantling of a gasholder in the centre of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, tapped into the local community’s emotional connection to the site to help pave the way for much needed new development.

It beat stiff competition from the cream of the UK’s PR industry at an awards ceremony in London last night (June 6).

View of Bury St Edmunds skyline from the top of the gasholder in Tayfen Street

CIPR judges described Copper’s stakeholder engagement campaign, developed on behalf of our client National Grid Property (NGP), as a “truly creative… multi-faceted approach that included; media relations, political advocacy, community involvement and placed heritage and people at its heart.”

Among other traditional communications activities, the campaign featured a heritage day, a booklet of written memories and stills and a film linked to a media relations campaign.

The result was a community which understood the need for the project and was willing to look to the future. The campaign was praised by the community and is now being used as an example of best practice by NGP for similar land projects.

Judges added: “The campaign has left a lasting legacy on both the community and the client, and the approach that the account management team took was hugely innovative and comprehensive. The fondness of remembering the old whilst laying the foundations for new development really impressed the judges and Copper Consultancy are a deserving winner, by really influencing opinions and shifting behaviours.”

The CIPR’s Excellence Awards recognise outstanding professional achievement and celebrate best practice in public relations and communications.

Head of National Grid Property, Richard Alden, said: “Copper immediately grasped the importance of our heritage strategy and showed a high level of understanding of our business. They delivered a first-class, innovative campaign which turned potential objection and negativity into support and positive engagement. Copper’s excellent approach meant local people benefitted from getting together to capture their memories.”

Award ceremony photo: ©Steve Pope – Fotowales