Solar cities

The Situation

The world’s foremost industry experts in solar technology and sustainable renewable energies gathered in Adelaide for the International Solar Cities Congress.

The biennial five-day event provided a global forum for policymakers and environmental leaders to share ideas and discuss sustainable energy options for the future.

Hughes Public Relations worked with the Congress organisers to develop a comprehensive communications strategy to promote attendance and attract worldwide media interest before, during and after the event.


Hughes Public Relations commenced work with the Capital City Committee (a joint collaboration between the Government of South Australia and Adelaide City Council) with a brief to:

  • Raise awareness of the International Solar Cities Congress and help secure more than 800 registrations for the event;
  • Position South Australia as a renewable energy leader, particularly relating to environmental sustainability and climate change; and
  • Showcase local innovative technologies.

Hughes Public Relations was approached to work on the Congress in light of poor early-bird registration numbers, minimal public awareness of the event and no media coverage.


  • Publicity of the International Solar Cities Congress in local, national and international media before, during and after the event;
  • Establishment of a media partnership with News Limited which saw involvement of the media conglomerate’s New York office and a series of informative articles supporting The Advertiser’s “One Degree of Change” climate awareness series;
  • A “high level” letter from the SA Premier to his counterparts in Australia and overseas encouraging representative attendance at the event;
  • Promotion of key developments in renewable energy practices;
  • Promotion of benefits of renewable energy through the release of scientific research;
  • Ticket competitions to attend the Congress; and
  • Opportunistic story proposals to visiting national and international media.


The 3rd International Solar Cities Congress exceeded the expectations of organisers in terms of attendance, attracting more than 800 delegates from around the world to underpin the financial success of the event.

High levels of international awareness of the event and public awarness of the broader issues of climate change and environmental sustainability were achieved through significant new and traditional media publicity.