Inaugural Cyber Awards Make Bumper Coverage More than Virtual Reality

by Stuart Milne

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Successful tech PR for first cyber awards as campaign lights up the media

Cyber Awards winners overlaid with cuttings by Award-winning PR

WHEN it comes to winning awards prestige is everything. You’re in for the kudos the nomination and (fingers crossed) winning will bring you. So when we were asked to promote the inaugural Scottish Cyber Awards we knew how important our PR activity would be.

Not only is the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) one of our longest-standing clients, but reaching an audience for their latest endeavour was crucial for subsequent ceremonies – In the awards world, name recognisiton is everything.

So, we were delighted (as were the team at SBRC) to pack some serious punch with our wide-ranging coverage which included:

  • 47 media articles across national and local news titles, online news sites, specialist tech publications and business media 
  • Ensuring news of SBRC’s awards and key messages reached almost a million people
  • Delivering value of at least £35,000 in terms of advertising value equivalent (AVE) – a huge ROI on the modest budget
  • Helping drive interest ahead of the celebration which drove a host of entries in every category
  • Created huge buzz and interest in the run up to the ceremony – and a bumper crop of coverage for the eventual winners 

This provided a cost-effective approach delivering outstanding results, incredible value for money and, most notably, the platform for a bigger and better awards next year. Here’s how we hacked the media:


Our PR campaign reached more than 937,000 people, with that success delivered on a tight budget.

We are proud of our ‘multiple bites of the cherry’ mindset. While other agencies adopt the “one and done” approach of telling a story just a single time, we are firm believers in telling every aspect of a story in its own right.

That means we dug out great story lines that let us achieve media coverage for the original announcement, then tell a new story as entries came flooding in before going on to cover the glitzy event itself.

On top of that we identified different story lines to work for media in different parts of the country. And for good measure we also made sure the story was told in different ways to appeal to different types of media – whether a quality broadsheet or a tech journal.

Edinburgh PR agency show how they help clients achieve more media coverageIs your business interested in getting at least three times more positive media coverage than a basic PR campaign would deliver? This case study is part of our ‘Multiple Bites Of the Cherry’ series, showing how businesses like yours can get more by working with our PR agency. 

This is no easy trick as media fatigue has built up over the years with every industry hosting a number of events to celebrate their ingenuity .

With the Scottish Cyber Awards we made sure a constant drip feed of people-focused stories, fresh new lines and geographically specific information meant the media didn’t tire of hearing about the awards.


When raising awareness of any organisation it’s important to shout from the rooftops – after all the more people know about you the better, right?

That is where the local media can be so valuable. Weekly newspapers which serve towns and villages across the country are among the most trusted and widely read by the influencers living in those communities – often business leaders, political influencers and agenda setters who commute into work in major cities.

Carefully crafted message in the local papers of your heartland will produce more leads and, ultimately, business.

Edinburgh PR agency guide to enjoying successful local public relations campaignsWe never under estimate the power of positive PR on your doorstep. Find out exactly why it is so vital and so beneficial to get media coverage on your home turf, in our essential guide, Local & Loving It.


We never pass up the chance to make the most of locality and our press releases found homes in titles are far reaching as Stirling News, Perth Gazette, The Stirling Observer and The Perthshire Advertiser.

Add that to yet more pieces in the Ayrshire Post, The Courier, the Evening Telegraph and the Press & Journal and you have a recipe for reaching 187,547 people in trusted, local news sources.


Despite our love of local papers, we also recognise that a national awards needs national coverage.

For the Scottish Cyber Awards we also delivered in spades with national media coverag – with The National leading the charge. We had several stories in the campaign in print and online creating a fantastic 199,570 opportunities to read about the awards.

Backing this up with hits in the country’s most respected regional papers at either end of the M8 was key – the Edinburgh Evening News and Glasgow Evening Times carrying four articles covering the lead-up and winners.

We also saw headlines in The Scotsman bringing up another 273,782 opportunities for businesses and customers to see the awards and entrants in one of the most recognisable publications on the planet.


Coverage montage from Award-winning PR

Drumming up interest prior to the event was integral to the success of the tech PR campaign.

First and foremost it was essential to raise awareness of the awards and to encourage as many relevant busiensses as possible to enter the most suited categories.

We got the word out in national titles and regional press as well as industry publications – essential for generating submissions.

Top this off with even more national and regional coverage when finalists were announced and the awards had become a credible media force before any nominees had even donned a bow-tie.

We had 24 media mentions in the lead-up to the event – keeping anticipation building ahead of the night. These included The Courier, the Glasgow Evening Times and The National. This generated a whopping 355,526 readers reached prior to the awards


PR is a results focused industry. Every agency is committed to creating the best possible real-world outcomes for your business.

That means coverage in the business press is vital to reach the founders, directors, senior managers and decision makers. Not only does that reach potential entrants and sponsors, it boosted B2B recognition for SBRC, while creating opportunities to see for business builders and contract makers.

We saw articles hit BQ Live, FutureScot, ScotlandB2B and Scottish Business News Network.

This is a crucial part of what we do, and one often overlooked by clients and on-lookers alike. It’s great to appear in the biggest papers but often a carefully placed platform or a word from the right influencer can make a big difference.


Cyber Awards montage from Coverage montage from Award-winning PR

With the groundwork laid in pre-publicising the awards ceremony we extended media invites to reputable national journalists and scored print coverage in The National as a result.

The next step was to roll-out a regional story to the winners’ heartlands. This gave us an excellent base to grab headlines in regional and local titles once more.

We drafted the basis of our releases ahead of time and a busy morning post-awards saw us reap the benefits of local interest not only for the SBRC but also for the deserving innovators and hard-workers who took top-spot on the night.

Key regional coverage, with features in the Edinburgh Evening News, Glasgow Evening Times and Ayrshire Post meant we totalled another 23 articles post-event with 582,163 opportunities to see.

And what does this mean? Feel good attention for our client and all the businesses involved. Who doesn’t want the countries biggest papers praising your business?


Our winners releases weren’t only successful in reaching their regions, we also targeted the varied industry press as we looked to consolidate our already excellent haul of press attention.

We saw victors in a number of sectors (beside purely cyber) and decided to aim at the broader business press with great success.

Legal and academic titles seized on the opportunity of some cross-over news which saw the awards carried in specialist publications including Publicnow, Scottish Legal News, Journal of the Law Society of Scotland and ScotlandIS.

Find out how our award-winning PR agency can dig out great stories for your business

However whatever size of business you are in and whatever sector, our storytelling skills and creativity can help your business.

We’d love the chance to chat with you about the many benefits a value-for-money PR campaign could deliver for your business. We’re a friendly bunch and getting in touch couldn’t be easier. Simply phone us on 0131 561 2244, or take a few seconds to completed the simple form, below, and we’ll get straight back to you.

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