How social media was turned into a tasty business appetiser by our Scottish PR agency

by Sarah Fairley

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Restaurant custom boomed when Tony asked us to cook up a digital PR and social media campaign

WHEN successful restaurateur Tony Crolla realised that social media demanded his attention it was to prove highly profitable, thanks to the team at our Scottish PR agency.

The team at Holyrood PR were early adopters and we’d already been successfully using blogging platforms, digital video and the likes of Facebook and Twitter for years. As Tony’s trusted PR agency we’d been advocating these new platforms, but like money business people at the time, he remained to be convinced the fledgling services could benefit his business.

However, we persuaded Tony that the new channels could be used to benefit his renowned city restaurants, La Favorita and Vittoria, and delivered a six month campaign with successes which included:

  • Setting up branded Facebook and Twitter channels for both restaurants from scratch
  • Introduced a trackable offer redeemable only via social media which brought in 475 additional covers
  • Attracted 1930 Twitter followers (93% over the target of 1000)
  • Achieved 755 Twitter likes (smashing the target of 500 by 51%)
  • Attracted at least 20 entrants for a social media competition which encouraged positive shares
  • Drove almost 1000 YouTube views of the restaurant’s videos
  • Sent 1962 posts, resulting in 1136 interactions – meaning 58% of posts resulted in an interaction

Tony had been sceptical about social media. Like many business owners at the time, he was unsure what value it offered and suspected it might prove to be a fad. His lightbulb moment came when he overheard staff in his flagship Vittoria restaurant discussing the new car his son had just bought – wondering how they could possibly know so much detailed news before he did. The answer lay in social media. His son proudly published photos and specs of his new motor, where the savvy restaurant staff saw them.

At that point Tony knew it was time to experiment with these new platforms and he turned to the digital PR team at our award winning public relations agency to help him make the most of it.  We worked with him to identigy  the quietest day of the week for the Vittoria restaurant, then devised a ‘Tony’s Tuesdays’ campaign with a special 2 for 1 main course offer available only to the restaurant’s social media followers. Trackable links allowed us to see exactly how many customers made booking enquiries.


Edinburgh PR Agency piecing together the PR in essential business guideThis is part of our our helpful guide which explains the separate parts of the PR services jigsaw – including LONG TERM PR , PR PROJECTS, LAUNCH EVENT PR and PR IMAGES. 

The campaign was a runaway success, attracting 700 clicks and yielding 475 additonal covers at the restaurant, transforming Tuesday’s from the restaurant’s quietest days into one of its busiest.

We followed that up with similar 2 for 1 offers for the La Favorita pizza restaurants, while 0ther social media activity included a competition offering £50 pizza voucher prize for the best photo of customers enjoying Tony’s pizza or of his eye catching fleet of mini delivery cars.  Likes and follows on social media increased substantially, creating plenty of online buzz, while a series of short videos we produced during the campaign quickly accumulated 1000 views.


Another ingenious part of our campaign was to set up a dedicated ‘listening station’ to gather the latest news and information about Italian food and eating out in Edinburgh, as well as highlighting when each of the restaurant’s were mentioned on social media pages, online and in the media.

We used this information to create interesting posts, which not only reached out to those already talking about the restaurants, but encouraged engagement with those who were not already doing so.

As well as proactively creating positive engagement, part of our role was to manage negative comments which could arise from followers. When this happened, we worked with the restaurant to provide a solution to the comments, managing public opinion transparently turning the negatives into positive solutions.

Tony was delighted with the results and said: “I was unsure what value social media would bring to the business, but Holyrood Partnership not only expertly and creatively took charge at every stage, they delivered superb results.  It was an amazing eye-opener to see what could be achieved.”

And the icing on the cake? Our campaign earned a Silver Award for “Best Use of Social Media” from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2011.

Isn’t it time you treated your business to some digital PR and social media TLC. It’s easy to find out how

We plan and deliver dedicated social media campaigns for any business andrecommend the best way to see measurable results from social media is as part of a blended campaign making use of PR services, including media relations, video and a website content strategy.

Getting in touch with us to find out how we can help you build a strong social media presence couldn’t be easier. Phone us on 0131 561 2244 or take a few seconds to fill and submit the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)


    Your Message

    Private: Sarah Fairley

    Sarah Fairley delivers an impressively wide suite of digital services to clients of Holyrood PR, the leading public relations agency in Edinburgh. At every stage her focus is on making sure that content shared on blogs, YouTube and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkeIn delivers real business value to clients of the Scottish PR agency.

    View Private:'s Profile

    Related Posts

    So how can we help?

    Make an impact with PR photography

    Make an impact with PR photography

    Find out more

    Every story can be told better with pictures. Discover our affordable, high-impact photo packages.

    Benefit from business video

    Benefit from business video


    Find out how affordable video can bring a host of benefits to your business.

    If you have any comments or questions, please contact us.


    Keep ahead of your opposition by getting the free tips, insights and secrets we share for businesses. Straight to your inbox, every month.
    Email address
    First Name
    Last Name