Inspirational cyber crime expert established credentials with thought leadership

by Raymond Notarangelo

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Mandy transformed the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, establishing a superb reputation in the process.

Mandy Haeburn-Little, powerful example of thought leadership in cyber crime sector

WORTHWHILE goals don’t come much bigger than setting out to tackle a huge monkey on the back of Scottish business – cyber crime.

Confronting the menace of eCrime that costs the country £5 billion a year was quickly established as a key aim of Mandy Haeburn-Little when she took the helm at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) in 2011.

Since then, she has successfully made business-related crime one of the most talked about issues in the country, while transforming SBRC into a hub of wider innovation and business improvement.

She is also a shining example of thought leadership in action. For Mandy being a thought leader wasn’t a “nice to have” luxury, it was an essential for the organisation to survive. Grants, partnerships and support from the Government, police and business leaders all depended on her being seen as an agenda setter with a real action plan.

Throughout her time at SBRC Mandy has made the shrewdest possible use of public relations to help establish her thought leadership credentials. She has worked closely with the tech PR experts at Holyrood PR to be positioned as:

  • A clarion voice who helped put cyber crime and business resilience on the map
  • A corporate leader whose shrewd appointments and deft negotiations have positively transformed SBRC
  • A government influencer, who sets innovative national policy in Scotland and beyond
  • A consumer campaigner who has protected countless people from egregious scams
  • A cyber champion who has helped propel the sector forward while publicly recognising the most talented practitioners
  • A credentialed expert who is sought after to sit on influential boards and bodies as well as to help set policy in Scotland and far beyond.

Read on to find out exactly how our PR experts supported Mandy Haeburn-Little every step of the way as she achieved the thought leadership status required to make business cyber security a prominent national issue.


Cyber crime thought leader Mandy Haeburn-Little, pictures in PR photo montageAs Mandy’s tenure at SBRC got underway, one of her first ambitions was to put the issue of e-crime on the map in Scotland – by organising the country’s first ever conference on the subject.
The planning and delivery of the event was watched carefully by major corporate sponsors, Government backers and the business community. Any hint of indifference to the event and the fledgling venture could have lost vital support.
Instead, the inaugural event in 2012 went off in style. Thanks to our successful PR campaign, it enjoyed huge media buzz before and after the event. We followed that up with PR for the second eCrime Scotland Summit in 2013, which was also a sell-out PR success.
As our partnership with Mandy blossomed another highlight was our promotion of Scotland’s first ever Anti Illicit Trade Summit in 2014 (another sell out) which attracted almost 50 major media articles.
Mandy said of that: “It has been acknowledged by Police, Government and HMRC that this is the single largest piece of media attention that Scotland has ever had on the issue of counterfeiting.”


Cyber crime thought leader Mandy Haeburn-Little, features in an image, joking with Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Jamie Graves, CEO of ZoneFoxSBRC has consistently grown in both scope and scale under Mandy’s expert guidance, not least because of her uncanny knack for making stellar appointments at a senior level.
Our PR experts have been there every step of the way ensuring each appointment and business landmark has been featured heavily in the media to help foster Mandy’s thought leadership credentials.
Highlights among Mandy’s team appointments which caught the imagination of the media included Lynsae Tulloch taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer, and former Chief Constable Paddy Tomkins being appointed chairman of the Board.
However, Mandy has also continued to develop ever deeper and powerful corporate partnerships with police, fire service, business bodies while transforming SBRC into an internationally renowned example of best practice.
Again, successful PR around each element of excellent corporate stewardship has resulted in positive PR, further strengthening Mandy’s creds as a thought leader.
Examples include a high-level appointment from the Scottish Fire Service, the creation of a new Head of Retail and Tourism and attracting top talent as a Police Scotland Cyber Lead.
Most recently expert corporate governance at SBRC was being celebrated in the media yet again – when we helped tell the story of its move to excellent new headquarters.



Consistent success and growing recognition from the business community has also earned Mandy the ear of government influencers.
That was spectacularly evident than while Boris Johnson was the Lord Mayor of London and his office requested Mandy on secondment so that she could replicate the SBRC model for London.
That led directly to the creation of the London Digital Security Centre, an organisation dedicated to protecting London businesses by ensuring the can operate in a secure business environment.
In Scotland, Mandy is now established as a dynamic leader in the battle against cyber crime and illicit trade. As a result she regularly works closely with Scottish Government ministers and policy setters, from former Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill to the current incumbent of the Justice Secretary, portfolio,  Humza Yousuf, as well as the likes of Transport Minister Derek Mackay.
Beyond purely political influencers, Mandy also collaborates closely with Police Scotland, HMRC as well as a host of academics and many others from the world of business who influence national policy.
The results? The SBRC is now the most vital partner in the Scottish Government’s drive to tackle the commercial and economic threats of cyber crime and illicit trade.


Under Mandy’s leadership SBRC has become a powerful megaphone for warning the Scottish public about a host of scams, cheats, cons and other digital threats.
Working closely with Holyrood PR – Scotland’s best tech PR agency – the team at SBRC have issued warnings on an eye popping range of scams aimed at everyone from grieving relatives and social media users to online shoppers and people using dating apps.
The scams are often ingenious and convincing. These are just some of the warnings issued by Mandy’s SBRC team, achieving blanket media coverage to help keep Scots safe:
Think Jessica campaign –
Cruel funeral con
Lonely Hearts and dating apps
Targeting Netflix viewers
Ingenious Aldi vouchers scam
ID theft risk for keen gamers
Risks for young users of Snapchat
The threats posed by free Wi-Fi
The unseen peril lurking in LinkedIn
Hidden threats on popular websites


Tech PR montage to show the success of the Scottish Cyber AwardsAs well as putting the risks of eCrime and illicit trade firmly on the public radar, Mandy’s nuanced strategy for success at SBRC has gone much further. She has also played a pivotal role in promoting and recognising the work of the finest operators in the cyber security sector.
That has been achieved through the launch of the inaugural cyber awards in 2016 and ongoing success of the annual ceremony  in subsequent years.
The creation of the awards, which champion the best work in the industry, has proved to be a move of incredible foresight, because the sector has grown in size many times over since Mandy conceived the idea and turned it into a reality.
Another happy spin-off benefit is that the huge industry buzz and powerful tech PR success created by the awards has further bolstered Mandy’s already impressive thought leadership credentials.
Mandy said: “Holyrood PR’s work in raising awareness of Scotland’s first ever Cyber Awards contributed hugely to its success. The demand was so high, we could have sold the table allocation three times over.  We had to turn funders away as well as many potential sponsors.”


To say she succeeded in establishing herself is a thought leader would be a grand understatement.
Not only has she created a widely recognised success story in the shape of SBRC, she recreated that by also establishing London’s first Digital Security Centre (LDSC).
She is now a member of both the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce for Scotland and the Scottish Crime Campus Management Board and she Chairs the Cyber Expert Group for Scotland.
Meanwhile she is also on a number of strategic boards within both the police and fire sectors and sits on the Business Engagement Forum of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
She also sites on the Cyber Leader’s Board for Scotland, Chairs the Cyber Expert Group for Scotland – and she is at the heart of plans to create a cyber hub for Scotland, which is being designed to support all business needs.
Crucially, a close working partnership with the public relations experts at Holyrood PR, has been in play throughout her transformative tenure as the head of SBRC, ensuring a powerful thought leader role for Mandy, as well as many members of her team.

Isn’t it time your personal profile benefited from expert PR to transform you into a thought leader?

We’d love to help you stand head and shoulders above your rivals, while being recognised and sought out for your hard-earned expertise. Crucially, this kind of recognition – especially in the media – can help turbocharge results for your business.

To find out how our expert PR team could elevate you to thought leader status, phone us on 0131 561 2244, or take a few seconds to fill and submit the simple form below:

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Holyrood PR Photography Shoot

Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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