Hooray for Holyrood (PR) as we help our client grab a star role in George Clooney visit

by Raymond Notarangelo

Monday, December 7th, 2015

How can you turn a one hour window into PR gold?

George Clooney visits Edinburgh, and lunches in Tiger Lily restruant in George St IN PIC................. (c) Lesley Garven/DEADLINE NEWS For pic details, contact Wullie Marr........... 07989359845Tigerlily, Edinburgh’s prime style venue, was ready for its biggest ever close-up as Hollywood A-lister George Clooney rolled into town.

Getting one of the most famous people on the planet to pop into your business is as about a good as it gets when it comes to celebrity endorsements.

Indeed, most companies might have thought that the PR would take care of itself as the aura over Mr C would negate the need for any creative thinking or hard endeavour.

But to its horror, Tigerlily realised that their hopes of a headline-grabbing role – and the dream of using the publicity surrounding Mr C’s visit to place the venue on the radar of literally millions of potential customers – was about to become its own disaster movie.

Firstly, a news blackout had been ordered until Mr C had left his lunch date at Tigerlily, putting a tight limit of what could be said and when.

And then it became apparent that potential media interest on Tigerlily was set to be squeezed out because the actor had already scheduled a high-profile PR event earlier in the day – which was covered by scores of photographers and reporters and was already running on 24-hour news channels.

And that was before Mr C went on to do his well-documented stint at the Scottish Business Awards that evening.

In short, there was every chance Tigerlily was about to be regulated down the cast list as a lowly, faceless extra, with no one caring or taking an interest, unless urgent action was taken.

But – just like any leading man or woman – in stepped Holyrood PR to save the day.

And the results were worthy of any PR Oscar with audiences across traditional and social media lapping up the activity.

George Clooney visits Edinburgh, and lunches in Tiger Lily restruant in George St IN PIC................. (c) Lesley Garven/DEADLINE NEWS For pic details, contact Wullie Marr........... 07989359845While we had been given the heads-up confidentially the day before that Clooney was to visit Tigerlily as part of his visit to Edinburgh, management at the George Street venue only gave Holyrood PR an hour’s notice ahead of his lunch arrival to come up with a plan to maximise the PR around his appearance.

Director Raymond Notarangelo put in place a series of quick fire actions to ensure that Tigerlily not only was able to grab a chunk of the extensive media interest in the Clooney visit – but that it generated awareness from potential, and existing, customers.

After ensuring he could attend the lunch event, Raymond got working on what Holyrood PR does best – spotting the stories that others don’t see.

TScottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh offers a guide to sexy PR for any businesshink your business isn’t sexy enough for PR? We’re not just experts in hospitality PR – check here to find out how our powerful formula for PR success has benefitted clients and businesses in many less glamorous sectors.


That meant finding out the rationale behind the menu and why it so heavily Scottish-themed, uncovering that the chefs included a team from Social Bite who use homeless people as staff, identifying the three-strong female waiting team and discovering what Mr C said to them (and trying to find some tit-bits such as whether he offered any acting advice or left a tip) and sourcing that Tigerlily had honoured reservations from guests who had made lunch bookings, and who ended up with an unexpected treat.

Raymond also remembered the value of an image by taking pictures of the menu card, the wine drunk over the lunch, George Clooney’s seat, his namecard and the waiting staff.

George Clooney Facebook grabWe also used our superb media contacts to source images of Mr C entering Tigerlily from one of the professional photographers outside so that these could be used for Tigerlily’s own PR and Social Media.

From this assembled information, and with the clock ticking, Raymond put together a media release that focussed on the lucky three waitresses who has served George and how this was his first taste of Scottish dining. This was issued to all print and broadcast media.

Then, Raymond put together a series of witty and eye-catching posts to be rolled out throughout the day/night with a collection of images on Tigerlily’s Facebook page to capitalise on the venue’s strong social audience.

And to keep the momentum going, Raymond issued a new media release the day after on the angle of the lucky diners who were able to rub shoulders with Mr C as a result of Tigerlily honouring their lunchtime bookings.

The media coverage was a huge success – delivering 15 pieces of coverage with an extraordinary reach of five million plus. Tigerlily even grabbed the front cover of influential trade magazine Dram, with owner David Wither sharing the limelight with Mr Clooney.

So while we know the value of getting coverage to raise awareness to potential new customers, Holyrood PR is always focused on clients’ other business objectives such as putting them ahead of competitors.

George Clooney visits Edinburgh, and lunches in Tiger Lily restruant in George St IN PIC................. (c) Lesley Garven/DEADLINE NEWS For pic details, contact Wullie Marr........... 07989359845When Edinburgh’s ground-breaking ‘go-to’ venue, Tigerlily, grabbed the attention of the media after it welcomed one of Hollywood’s most famous actors, George Clooney, our PR experts were on hand to ensure maximum media coverage.


But perhaps the best impact was through Tigerlily’s social media audience – the Facebook posts (at the time of writing) created 41,223 post clicks and brought an additional reach of 240,682 with the numbers continuing to rise.

Better still, the comments from posts were amazing, such as ‘Look who was in our favourite Edinburgh bar’ and ‘If it’s good enough for George, it must be good enough for us’ and ‘We’ve got to get ourselves there pronto’.

The advantage of PR experts

Holyrood PR In Edinburgh provide hospitality PR for relaunch of popular barIt’s the second time we have stepped in to help Tigerlily with an immediate PR problem.
In September, the Tigerlily team called upon us to help manage the re-launch of the refurbished ground floor of the venue – with just one week’s notice.
It was a very pleasing back-to- the-future moment for Holyrood PR as we had been appointed by owners Montpeliers Ltd to handle the opening of Tigerlily in 2006.
For more on how we were recruited once more, have a look at this post.
Montpeliers wanted an agency that were tried and trusted experts in PR – who have a track record of success, a wealth of experience and the ability to deliver what they say they will.
The results – given the tight timescale – endorsed the confidence put in us by Montpeliers and are highlighted here.
The advantage of PR professionals from Holyrood PR is that we spot stories in every situation. Our purpose that all staff abide by is that ‘We believe stories are at the heart of every business, and when these stories are told the right audiences, they help businesses to become more profitable while making workplaces happier and more productive.’
That’s how we have built our reputation for delivering impressive results for businesses, products and services that previously weren’t considered exciting enough to make headlines.

We can help your business make the headlines

If you like the way we take apparently unpromising material and turn it into PR gold, we’d love to hear from you to discuss how we could boost your business. Give us a call on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the contact form below and we will get back to you.

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership 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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