April Six was appointed by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to oversee communications from its landmark conference convened to decouple measurement of four SI units from physical objects and instead align them to immutable fundamental constants.
The kilogram was among four measurement Units due to be redefined at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in November 2018, along with the ampere, the mole and the kelvin. Prior to this, the kilogram had been defined using Le Grand K – a piece of metal in a vault at BIPM, the global measurement body running the 2018 Conference. By showing how very small instabilities in the world mass scale could be eliminated, we were able to communicate the impact of the redefinition and show how it would provide a foundation for the ground-breaking science of the future. We developed and distributed press materials including a press release, Q&A, imagery, explainer videos, graphics and social media posts. Over 2 days, we managed the attendance of more than 50 journalists from around the world, including the UK, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Russia; coordinated 17 spokespeople and countless interviews and produced a livestream from the event. More than 70 interviews with journalists were set up at or alongside the conference and over 26,000 people viewed the announcement online. In the UK alone, 510 stories were generated, including 265 broadcast pieces, which accumulatively reached a potential 97.8 million people. Immediately following the announcement, Google Trends reported that the term ‘Kilogram’ had become a breakout result, meaning the popularity of a search term had risen by 5,000% from its usual baseline. The news even featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox – reaching an entirely new audience – and saw the definition listed top of Vox’s top science stories of the year.
70+ interviews & a live audience of
The global reach of media coverage around the announcement was over 2 billlion.