A brilliantly rubbish PR campaign

It’s not easy to make rubbish interesting – which is why we love this imaginative PR campaign.

The Forest of Dean wants to tackle littering across the vast beauty spot. Every year more than 250,000 tonnes of rubbish are removed from the forest, costing local tax payers more than £400,000 a year.

Outdoor PR campaign

Source: Hubbub Foundation

But what does that really look like? What could have easily been ‘run of the mill’ press release crammed with figures and stark warnings from town hall spokesmen, was turned into something extraordinary.

The Forest of Dean teamed up with charity Hubbub, and using the campaign Love Your Forest, brought the problem to life. And so, a shop stocked with litter collected from the forest floor was opened.

Decades old drinks bottles and even a 33-year-old packet of crisps were among the items on the shelves of the pop-up shop.

Under signs promoting “forest fresh” and “locally sourced”, the CON-venience store was stocked with shelves of dumped cans and plastic bottles and a chiller cabinet of empty sandwich packets.

Also among the ‘litter artefacts’ on display were old pull-ring drinks cans and an unopened packet of ready salted crisps dating from the mid-1980s.

Residents were invited to call into the shop to see for themselves the scale – and age – of the problem.

The campaign quickly captured the public’s attention with Hubbub’s Ellie McCall saying: “This is the real fruits of the forest – what’s found on the forest floor.

“And the crazy thing is we didn’t have to do any archaeological digs, it was just still lying on the surface of the forest and still identifiable.”

The story made national headlines with The Mirror, The Guardian and the BBC among those covering it. A successful campaign by anyone’s standards. And no doubt visitors to the forest will think twice about dropping litter from now on – the true measure of success.

Good PR uses creativity to achieve a goal. And if this campaign is anything to go by, Hubbub has proved it’s a one-stop shop of ideas.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.