Richard Pagett, Aria PR

Gas boilers must be scrapped within decades to combat climate change urges major report,’ said The Telegraph on the 7th October.

The headline was meant to grab attention and it certainly grabbed mine, not least because we work closely with forward thinking clients in the domestic heating sector who are tackling the facts behind this headline.

This article was based on a report approved by almost 200 scientists and government representatives from across the globe. Those involved agreed that to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels means we must stop burning fossil fuels to generate power.

So as a PR company, how can you generate good press from bad? For PR agencies like Aria, which operate in the heating and plumbing sector, it is imperative to be tuned in to the political and legislative environment our clients operate in.

The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy has helped to focus minds and future product strategies. It will eventually (depending on Brexit and electoral turmoil) lead to more legislation and even tighter emission controls as the UK looks to reach the strict targets outlined in the Climate Change Act of 2008.

However it is also important to be aware of the current situation for homeowners and readers. With 83% of homes in the UK dependent on gas, and those in off-gas areas heavily reliant on fossil-fuel, any alternatives to these existing solutions must be relatively affordable, practical and above all, realistic.

Global warming is a concern and must be tackled and boiler manufacturers are not blinkered to the issues. Good PR should enhance a company’s reputation and in this case, we can show how most boiler manufacturers are ahead of the curve when it comes to their products’ compliance with efficiency and emissions legislation. Content can highlight what is coming down the line and how manufacturers will be front and centre in the UK’s move to cleaner appliances, renewables and alternative fuels.

Headlines like these are dramatic but no PR crisis. In fact, using these headlines is as important as writing them. They give a great hook on which to hang new technology and alternative fuels and explain them to a sometimes sceptical audience.