Bagpipe Amnesty donation from across the pond hits a high note in the UK media

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Coverage marches in from across Britain for the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust thanks to Edinburgh PR Agency

American woman's bagpipe donation is huge Scottish PR success story

MEDIA from across the UK snapped up a heart-warming story of an American woman sent her beloved bagpipes over 4000 miles to help give under privileged youngsters a chance to learn the traditional Scottish instrument.

The team at Holyrood PR immediately spotted the potential of this human interest story, while working with the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust. . Having conceived the PR concept of an innovative “bagpipe amnesty” we then helped the Trust to deliver it.

News of the launch of the amnesty reached as far as Kansas, where keen player Andi Gamblin spotted it on a Facebook post shared by renowned Scottish Piper, Donald McBride.

Andi was inspired by the story and immediately arranged for her beloved Kintail pipes to be sent the 4,227 miles to the Trust’s Edinburgh HQ. Meanwhile, our own team of talented PR experts know how to create a buzz and realised we had the next phase of our awareness-raising campaign.

We arranged pics of Andi, conducted an interview with her and drafted a powerful media package of words and images. Within a day of  that story being issued to the media, news that this campaign was spreading like wildfire.

The amazing and near immediate results included:

  • Stories in some of the country’s biggest newspapers including The Herald, The Daily Express, The Scotsman, The Metro, The National and The Press and Journal.
  • The tale featured extensively online across a number of platforms including STV News, The Scotsman online, The National online, and the Evening Express.
  • UK-wide mentions in news titles as diverse as the Jersey Evening Post, the Belfast Telegraph and The Yorkshire Post helped push the campaigns key messages across the UK.
  • A significant mention in Influential music publications i,ncluding Music News Scotland,  highlighting the important work of the Bagpipe Amnesty and encouraging people to donate their old bagpipes to the cause.
  • Within a short space of time, the PR campaign created 2,041,055 opportunities to see, while more importantly very quickly 14 sets of  bagpipes and two sets of pipe band drums were donated.

Although she has no direct Scottish roots, Andi, 44, has been piping for the 15 years. She has  travelled across USA playing with various pipe bands, and currently plays with the Kansas City St Andrews Pipes and Drums.

She wanted to donate her bagpipes – her first set – in order to give children in Scotland the chance to share the same opportunities and pleasures of playing the pipes that she has experienced.

 Read the original release here


The appeal was in fact so successful it has been extended and although bagpipes can no longer be handed in to fire stations, you can arrange for you old bagpipes to be collected from you by calling FreePhone 0808 281 9405 or visiting the website

This widespread coverage comes as part of the project work being carried out by Holyrood PR for SSPDT to highlight the aim of the trust to loan donated pipes to young people who cannot afford to buy a set but who want to learn.

Find out how your business could benefit from amazing media coverage like this – contact our Scottish public relations agency

To find out how we can achieve results like this for you call us on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the contact

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Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

Scott Douglas

Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

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