FM United?

UPS, the delivery company perhaps best known for its brown and gold vans and uniforms, has been running a marketing campaign for several months under the banner We Love Logistics. The latest full-page advertisement in the national press highlights the work of UPS in reducing the climate impact of the London 2012 Olympic Games. From carbon-neutral certification programmes to bio methane tractor trailers, from customised vehicle telematics to carbon offsetting, UPS tells a compelling story with a pay-off line: “Which brings us to this: what we’re doing for London 2012 we can do for your company. Reducing logistical carbon footprints is good for the environment and business. Yours for instance.”

It struck me, looking at this and other elements of the campaign (see new logistics for videos, social media and even ringtones!) that if UPS can make logistics exciting then surely we can do the same for facilities management?

Now, UPS is an international company listed on the NYSE with a valuation of around $70bn and a brand in the global top 50. So they have some money to spend. But collectively the FM business is big.

If a number of major players got together, including providers, trade and professional bodies, exhibition organisers and publishers, it should be possible to agree and fund a campaign to promote FM to a wider business audience – maybe even to the public.

Too difficult? Too many competing agendas? Well, the Germans have had a go. The ”Moglichmacher” campaign (loosely translated as ”making possible” or ”the enablers” see here) has brought together a number of providers to fund a national advertising campaign highlighting the contribution of FM to business and everyday life.

Fifteen companies each committed €50k a year for three years and have agreed to extend the campaign for a further three years. That’s a sizeable marketing budget.

Could it work in the UK? The current climate is not ideal for getting commitment to sustained marketing but on the other hand, perhaps this is exactly the right time for the FM community to communicate and celebrate what unites rather than divides it.

Cathy Hayward

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