Discover: Plastics


TEPPFA kicks off Europe wide communication campaign for sewer pipes.

29 August 2017 is yet another milestone in the ‘rich’ history of TEPPFA.  For the first time a Europe wide trade press communication campaign has been rolled out to raise awareness about the benefits of plastics for below ground sewer applications.

Plastic pipes, also called flexible pipes, outperform alternative materials such as concrete, copper and ductile iron (rigid materials) in many ways. It is a general feeling that these arguments are not enough generally known and need to be addressed by a widespread communication campaign.

In early 2015 the TEPPFA Application Group Civils (AGC) decided to create a communication package to promote the many benefits of plastic pipes and address the misconceptions. The expected outcome of the campaign is an increase in confidence among the key stakeholders. AGC decided to use France, Germany, Poland and UK as pilot countries. Originally the campaign was named “Barriers to Plastics”. 

The Dutch market research company USP made a market research study which was used as a basis to decide on the themes to be addressed in the campaign. The research aimed to discover insight and answers to the following:

1. What are the key barriers that prevent the use of plastic pipes in each market?

2. What are the key drivers and factors that influence positive specifications for plastic pipe systems?

Out of the research came a number of key areas to be addressed:

  • Design, Installation and Performance

The target audiences are specification influencers (local authorities, water and sewer companies,…) decision makers (consulting engineers, specifiers,…) and installers (contractors, ground workers,...).

Meanwhile the WG COMMS got involved for the planning and implementation of the campaign. UK based Wyatt International was selected as the lead PR agency to develop and roll out the campaign in partnership with the respective National Associations. The name changed into “Discover:Plastics” and a multilingual microsite has been developed. The objective is to fill the microsite with a a regular stream of content topics generated by AGC and coordinated by the WG COMMS to attract and redirect continuously the target audience to the microsite.

Way Forward

The campaign was kicked-off by the BPF with an exclusive interview in the leading UK trade magazine WWT ("Water and Waste Water Treatment").  The edition of the magazine with the interview was published on 29 August.  As of mid September the campaign is gathering momentum with exposure in other UK trade media via the distribution of a launch press release through the BPF pipes Group. The launch is further supported via social media message spreading.

Almost simultaneously the campaign got off the ground in the other pilot countries Poland (via PRiK) and France (via STR PVC).  KRV in Germany is due to follow at a later stage. Content of the microsite is adapted to the needs of each of the pilot countries.

The ultimate aim is to cover all countries in Europe and enlarge the scope to a multitude of product applications.