Stop Kingsnorth: no to new coal power

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14 February 2008

Climate campaigners vs Edelman: a PR battle of David and Goliath proportions

The World Development Movement (WDM) has learned that energy giant E.ON has hired the public relations (PR) giant, Edelman UK, to handle its PR or ‘spin’, as it’s more commonly known, for ‘project Kingsnorth’. Clearly, E.ON’s fragile feathers have already been ruffled by WDM and other campaigners at Greenpeace, Christian Aid, who are working hard to stop E.ON and the government’s plans for a speedy consent to Kingsnorth.

The PR firm that will be feeding the media with the latest greenwash, undoubtedly thought up over unfairly traded macchiato and skinny-hint-of-vanilla lattes, is Edelman UK, part of the global Edelman group. Edelman is the biggest independent PR firm in the world and is well-known for representing the more controversial interests of governments and big business and making them sound good. Past and present clients are believed to include Wal-Mart, Starbucks Coffee, Shell, Coca-Cola, all of which are, of course, familiar to campaigners that put people before profit.

It’s clear that E.ON have called in the big guns and are preparing themselves for a PR battle to win the hearts and minds of the British public. So brace yourselves, in the coming months, you can expect to be inundated with headlines extolling the virtues of: 'Carbon Capture and Storage', 'Clean Coal', 'Energy efficient E.ON'. Claims which are unproven, implausable and in some cases, impossible.

As WDM’s press officer, it is my job to interest the media in the issues that we are campaigning on. Currently, a huge focus for us is to highlight the very real impact that climate change and consequently, the carbon-belching Kingsnorth, will have on people in the developing world. I can’t help but feel both a little daunted but also hugely excited at the prospect of going head-to-head in a David and Goliath style PR clash with E.ON and their pals at Edelman UK. Judging from the sheer number of PR pros and hard cash, the likelihood of Edelman UK winning the battle over Kingsnorth seems like a foregone conclusion. Although the PR machine at WDM is more ‘streamlined’, we have reasoned argument and the science of climate change backing us. Being right will out-spin the best that Edelman have got. Bring it on!

Kate Blagojevic

See also: Prince Charles joins clamour as industry greenwash stepped up
and this article, which mentions John Hutton - the minister who will be deciding if we have a public enquiry into the new coal power station - and his connection to Edelman UK.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See also :