Spicy Story of curry-loving centenarian tickles tastebuds of the media all over again – social care PR

by Alicia Simpson

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Nan Who Loves Naan hits 300 headlines – thanks to hot, hot, hot social care PR agency


A CURRY-loving 103-year-old who says spicy food is the secret to her long life has been nominated for a top award – and her story has made an enormous splash in the media thanks to our team of social care PR experts

News that Margaret Phillips had been nominated for Scotland’s Curry Lover of the Year title made her an online sensation for a second year running, with the story garnering press and web attention all across the UK.

Within just hours of it being fed to a hungry media, Margaret’s tale had graced almost 300 news outlets the length and breadth of Britain – and beyond.

The nomination in the Scottish Curry Awards 2016 is a huge accolade for Margaret, who developed her love of Indian food during two separate stints in the sub continent.

It was also a delightful boost for staff, carers and other residents at Bupa’s Balcarres Care Home in Dundee, who first highlighted how Margaret attributed her long life to a diet of curries and other spicy food. Care home staff and her family were delighted when news of her award nomination attracted a huge flurry of headlines.

Holyrood PR handles all public relations for Bupa Care Homes in Scotland, and this is exactly the kind of coverage that ensures positive messages about the quality of life enjoyed by its residents reach those who may be searching for such care services.


Within just an hour of the quirky story being issued it appeared almost immediately online in both The Courier and the Dundee Evening Telegraph,  reaching thousands of potential readers in the area around the Balcarres Care Home.

This is the all-important audience for both Bupa and Margaret’s family, meaning it is most likely to be
seen by the centenarian’s network of friends and family, while also positioning Balcarres Care Home as quality environment and an asset to its local community.

But it didn’t stop there as enquiries began pouring in from national and regional newspapers across the country and the news of Margaret’s extraordinary award nomination spread across the media:


Ensuring the story reached every corner of Scotland, it was picked up by all major Scottish daily newspapers, including in quality titles The Scotsman, The Herald, the Press & Journal as well as the Scottish Sun, Daily Record, Scottish Daily Mail, Scottish Express, Scottish Star.

It also appeared in many of the country’s leading newspapers – including the Aberdeen Evening Express, Press & Journal and Glasgow Evening Times.

Between them, these Scottish papers sell hundreds of thousands of newspapers every day, reaching every part of Scotland, while their websites reach an even greater audience, helping build further online value for Bupa.


The pick of the coverage was the story’s widespread appearance in the UK nationals, including the Daily Mail, the Metro, the Sun and the Mirror, which together reach a potential daily audience of well over the hundreds of thousands mark.

In addition, major online titles – including BT.com, AOL UK and Yahoo – also ran the piece, some of which reach audiences into the millions.


But perhaps the most influential coverage of all was in the huge array of smaller, more localised titles all across the UK. At the time of writing, the piquant piece has featured in over 200 of such news titles which serve local audiences.

The piece went as far as Darlington and Hampshire, Paisley and Yorkshire, featuring in far flung, popular titles such as the Northern Echo and Clydebank Post, right down to titles we’ve rarely even heard of including the Banbury Cake and the Epworth Bells.


Vitally, the industry care press were also quick to pick up on the story, and ran pieces in Care Home, Posability Magazine and Home Care, thus spreading this hugely positive piece of news throughout Bupa’s target industry and ultimately growing its reputation.

Featuring in care media is also an important way for care professionals to share and showcase best practice and also helps providers attract and retain the best staff.

Edinburgh PR agency guide to enjoying successful local public relations campaignsSee our business guide to the power of the local media and news outlets on your doorstep – why they are thriving in the digital era and remains one of the most vibrant, useful and trusted sources of content across
the entire country

Why is this so important? Because Bupa Care Homes all across the UK are vital parts of their local community, those using or choosing care services need and want to know that such homes not only provide care, but that they take an active interest in the needs and interests and wider welfare of their users.

This story – and the enormous and extensive coverage – helps tell millions of people looking out for their loved ones, that Bupa is the kind of care provider who goes the extra mile.

Curry loving 103-year-old Margaret Phillips | social care PRAmazingly, this is the second time in just eight months that Margaret and her love of Indian cuisine have made a huge splash in the media.

The expert public relations team at Holyrood PR first told her story in July 2015. Part of our role with
Bupa is to dig out the stories which may be of wider interest, so when we heard Margaret was celebrating her landmark 103rd birthday, we arranged to speak with her family and find out the secrets of her longevity.

We gave her the title “The Nan Who Loves Naan” and, at that time, we were extremely proud of the coverage that story generated – though the 25 media hits  from last year pale somewhat against the latest crop of coverage. But let’s not forget – without that original story, Margaret would never have been nominated for the  Curry Lover of the Year title.

10-JUL-BUPA-Naan-Coverage-montageCheck out the coverage that was generated when we first told the story of how Margaret said that curries were the spice of life after celebrating her 103rd birthday. This secured 25+ items of coverage – setting the stage for her latest media triumph.

This incredible round up of coverage is yet another example of the positive results that we secure as an agency with a “multiple bites of the cherry” mindset.

Yet this story is just one of an extensive number of successful stories run by Holyrood PR on behalf of Bupa. Our Edinburgh PR agency award-winning style ensures that every piece of news reaches its fullest potential.

Find out how your business or organisation could benefit from this kind of hugely successful social care PR by contacting our Edinburgh PR agency today

We’d love the chance to discuss how our expert public relations services could benefit your business – and how our powerful storytelling could help tell your story to the world.

Phone us any time for a chat on 0131 561 2244, or fill out the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you:

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    Private: Alicia Simpson

    The profile and biography of public relations professional Alicia Simpson, a junior account executive with award-winning Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh.

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