Dramas, Royals, Meltdowns and Movie Stars – 10 of the best business posts from our PR consultants

by Scott Douglas

Monday, June 11th, 2018

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SMART business people like to receive valuable, expert advice. Actionable insights that help build powerful reputations, make greater profits and create happier and more productive workplaces.

What’s even better is when advice and those insights are delivered in an entertaining and easy-to-digest fashion.  Thanks to our Priority List newsletter, useful business advice and insights come directly to your inbox just once a month in a totally hassle-free way. Did we mention all of this is totally *free*? What’s not to love?

We do this because we love producing killer content. It’s in our DNA to create the type of engaging posts that answer questions and addresses issues affecting businesses like yours. We believe that what’s good for your business can only be good for our business. Our motivation is simple. We love telling stories – in words, pictures and video, on paper, on air and online. And we love sharing those stories with the widest possible audience.  We hope you’ll love those stories too.

For those not already on the Priority List or who may be thinking of unsubscribing, we’ve pulled together 10 of our favourite and top-performing posts from our newsletter archive to remind you what you could be missing. So, sit back, relax and get ready to be entertained and informed. In no particular order…


1. Power games – seven eye-opening business lessons from Game of Thrones


The epic TV show which has gripped viewers across the world is far more than a sword and sandals bonk-fest.
In fact, it is packed full of insights that are helpful in business … if only you had the time to work out what they might be.
Well, you don’t have to because we’ve done all the hard work for you. Whether you want to know how to avoid having a name as blackened as the Kingslayers or how to tell the difference between mercenary sellswords and your real allies, we’ve got it covered.
This is one of our very favourite posts from our archive.  With these seven tips you should be able to nimbly navigate the pitfalls and command your own media presence effectively and efficiently.
After all, when you work in business, you win or you lose.

2. It was The Sun wot won it – editor explains how tabloid conquered Scotland:


Some jobs are special. Being the editor of a tabloid legend which also happens to be Scotland’s biggest-selling paper falls into that camp.
Divisive because of its habit of taking a political stance on most issues, there’s little denying The Sun has been the defining newspaper of British life for the past 30 years.
By turns irreverent, campaigning and unafraid to take on even the biggest giants of the establishment, it’s also known for producing the cleverest and most memorable headlines.
You may have wondered what kind of person it takes to drive such success and to be at the helm of paper as colourful, influential and demanding as the super, soaraway Sun.
Well,  we decided to ask the man himself. Please let us introduce Alan Muir, the editor of the Scottish Sun.

3. The Sharapova response: well-served crisis PR:


Despite having five grand slam wins in the bag, movie-star looks and a long list of lucrative sponsorship deals,  a doping scandal brought Maria Sharapova’s tennis career to an abrupt and juddering halt and landed her a lengthy ban.
However, what could have been a ruinous scandal that played out for months or even years in the media actually turned out to be a flash in the pan that was pretty much blown over in a week.
While there are precious few positives or redeeming stories to be taken from doping in professional sport, there is cause to admire the way Sharapova and her team handled the crisis PR surrounding her case.
What’s more, there are vital lessons to be learned by businesses just like yours – the kind of lessons that will serve you incredibly well if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in a crisis.


4. The Customer ISN’T always right. Sometimes they’re downright arrogant, rude and dishonest: 

Jumping for joy in Edinburgh

We all love it when our products or services leave clients or customers jumping for joy.
But what about those other customers? The ones who are never happy. Who are constantly criticising, complaining and undermining?
Received wisdom suggests the customer is ALWAYS right. So it’s easy to believe it must be you at fault. The process of assessing where you “went wrong” can be bruising and unpleasant. What’s worse is that no-one in business seems to talk about these serial problem customers.
Well, cheer up. You’re not alone. In this post, we shared examples of clients/customers who had a draining, unpleasant and negative effect on our business – and we were happy to report that every one of them got their comeuppance.
The good news is that appalling behaviour always catches up with the bad actors.

5 – Why  a 700-year-old castle came under siege from hordes of angry brides

When it was built in the 1360s, the feudal lords of the Middle Ages could not have imagined how Balgonie Castle in Fife would face an unusual siege in the early 21st century.
However, the current keeper of the castle found the impressive walls and turrets were next to useless when she came under attack from raging brides-to-be.
The bizarre story was an object lesson in how not to promote and portray a business in the digital age, particularly on social media.
This post isn’t just a dissection of a gobsmacking business blunder – it’s an insightful guide on how it should have been handled.
Exactly the kind of guide you want to keep handy in case your social media efforts stir up an unexpected reaction…

6 –The prince of public relations takes his leave of royal duties – and why he’ll be sorely missed

Anyone in business knows the drive and energy required for success. So how many of us could realistically keep up that kind of verve and vigour well into our 90s?
Prince Phillip may have been a gaffe-prone, headline writer’s dream for decades. But he’s also been the rock who has helped the Queen to steer the monarchy through some of its biggest challenges.
This post – to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement from public duties – paints a picture of a man who was defying his years in astonishing ways.
Our writer was unexpectedly impressed and humbled by the Prince’s relentlessly cheerful and indefatigable commitment to meeting the public – while never once appearing lost for words or complaining about his aching joints.


7. Ever felt like you need an extra pair of hands to deal with the digital challenges facing your business? 

There’s no need to get that sinking feeling when it comes to handling the barrage of digital demands faced by modern businesses.
This handy and very readable guide gives you all the tips, tricks and advice you could hope for.
Want to know how to weather a crisis in the age of a smartphone, when even local fish and chip shops can find themselves embroiled in a Twitter storm. We’ve got you covered.
How about helpful and easy-to-action advice on how to use the dizzying range of social and digital tools to help promote your business? Yep – we’ve got all those DIY tips as well.
This is more than just a useful business guide – it will make you feel like you’ve got an extra pair of hands.

8 – Meeting my TV and movie idol? It’s all in a day’s work!

Whatever line of business you’re in, the chances are your day-to-day job doesn’t match up to other people’s expectations.
For those of us in public relations, there’s often a misconception that we spend life at champagne receptions, rubbing shoulders with celebs.
We don’t. At least we didn’t – until one member of our team got the chance to spend the day with Hollywood actor Michael Sheen – who just happened to be the star of her favourite vampire and werewolf franchises.
It turns out the down-to-earth Welsh actor is a passionate advocate for stamping out costly credit and payday loans by championing more affordable credit for those on the breadline.
In this post, you can find out more about why the Nixon/Frost star ants to help root out the evil of runaway debt in our communities.

9 – Don’t rely on Lady Luck – the harder we practice, the luckier we get

don't rely on lady luck when public relations can ensure business success on social media

Heard the one about the Madras-loving 104-year-old who was named Scotland’s Curry Lover of The Year?
Nope, it’s not the opening line to a barroom joke – it’s the true story of how we helped turn a care home resident into an international media sensation.
Some stories are catnip to the media, so it would easy to put down the enormous appeal and success of great-grandmother Margaret Phillips’ story to plain, dumb luck.
But as a legendary sportsman once observed: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”
This post takes you behind the scenes of a viral story and demystifies exactly what goes into delivering this kind of result.

10 – Why you need to tell the business buzzwords to buzz off

Edinburgh PR consultants look at corporate jargon and business buzzwords

We’ve touched base, facilitated a bit of blue-sky thinking and decided there’s some incredible synergy for your business – as long as you’re agile enough to pivot to a new paradigm.
Blimey. What happened to good old Plain English? The business world is awash with jargon and nonsensical buzzwords.
As well as singling out the most annoying examples, this post looks at evidence which suggests this kind of language could actually be damaging your business.
Just as well you know a team of communication experts who can write in clear, plain and inspiring English then, isn’t it?

SO, there you have it. Ten of our favourite blog posts from the past couple of years – all of them racking up readership figures which suggested that our audience enjoyed them too.

If you enjoyed these offerings, be sure to sign up for our Priority List monthly newsletter, with the pick of our most informative, enjoyable and up-to-date posts. We don’t store, sell, share or otherwise use your email address. Just send you the good stuff once a month.

Here’s to the next top ten!

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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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