“Dragons’ Den” Inspired Design Event Sees Blackwood Hit the Headlines

by Alicia Simpson

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Pioneering designs to assist those living with disabilities are pick of the press, thanks to our Housing and Care PR experts

Blackwood Design Awards Housing and Care PR

GLASSES for computer users who don’t have the use of their arms and a wheelchair that goes up and down steps are just two of the products that recently caught the attention of the press, when they battled it out in a “Dragons’ Den” inspired design event.

The Blackwood Design Awards – which discover, and champion, new and innovative ideas to improve the lives of those with physical or learning disabilities – took place at the Dundee Contemporary Arts centre last month and saw nine shortlisted inventors pitch for the top spot.

Dozens of ingenious entries were received for the competition, including a blink-controlled phone system and a body temperature-regulating cushion for wheelchair users, but it was MEBot, a Mobility Enhancement Robotic Wheelchair and GlassOuse, a Bluetooth device to connect users to computers, phones and televisions, which were crowned the winners.

Another ‘winner’ was the huge amounts of positive media coverage which the competition generated, thanks to the strategic media activity delivered by our expert PR team, with highlights including:

By making ripples across such a variety of different news outlets reaching diverse sectors, we delivered a massive boost for Blackwood, one of the biggest care and housing specialists in Scotland. That helped reach the widest possible audience to extend knowledge of its aims, to provide beneficial digital and technological improvements to vulnerable groups of people.

So how did we go about spreading the word of the BDAs and encouraging budding designers and entrepreneurs to get involved? With the competition fast approaching, our client was understandably keen to gauge as much attention as possible to raise awareness, which was exactly what we enabled them to do.

As the key aim was to increase the number of products that had been entered, we made sure the media followed the competition every step of the way with a cleverly executed campaign which made a major impact on national, local and trade press.  By the time the day came around, Blackwood had seen entries come in from as far across the globe as China and Russia.

Edinburgh PR agency show how they help clients achieve more media coverageWould your business like to pay once – but see success over and over again? For our clients we deliver a ‘Multiple Bites of the Cherry’ approach, which ensures your business stories get the maximum chance of getting in front of exactly the right people

As a PR agency with that  ‘multiple bites of the cherry’ mindset, we recognised the potential for not one, but seven separate releases to push the BDA activity.

  1.  We did a general announcement release to highlight the event and give the important details. We then followed this up with a case study on the pioneering entry from China, then an appeal from last year’s winner for more designers to get involved.
  2. We then followed this up with a case study on the pioneering entry from China.then an appeal from last year’s winner for more designers to get involved.
  3. More media coverage was achieved with an appeal from last year’s winner for more designers to get involved.
  4. Valuable media coverage kept on coming – thanks to a ‘last chance to enter’ release, while we also generated healthy media activity announcing which well-known names would be judging the 2017 competition.
  5. Meanwhile we also generated healthy media activity, by  announcing which well-known names would be judging the 2017 competition.
  6. Even then we still weren’t satisfied and we also delivered coverage by announcing the sheer depth and creativity of the nine shortlisted finalists.
  7. And finally, the piece de resistance came when we unveiled this year’s winners.

When promoting any upcoming event, it’s easy to do just a simple announcement release and follow it up with activity detailing a successful outcome. But our Scottish PR agency knows the most effective method to tell stories for any business is to keep digging for details, and to drip feed these details to the press over time to ensure the highest level of engagement is achieved.


Blackwood is renowned for its work in adapting properties to let people who are disabled, elderly or have sensory impairments live independently and this is just one example of a number of successful campaigns run by Holyrood PR on behalf of  Blackwood. Our award winning style ensures that every story reaches it’s fullest potential.

Could your business use this kind of success and exposure, which on the most inventive and determined PR agency can deliver?

We’d love to help your business to enjoy results and success like this. For a no-strings chat, phone us on 0131 561 2244 or take a few seconds to 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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