Making the complex seem simple, to deliver PR success

by Brian Lewis

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

How we decluttered to make more space for the Commsworld message

Public relations success by Edinburgh PR agencyTHAT Albert Einstein fella certainly knew a thing or two, didn’t he?

Somewhere between nailing the theory of relativity and collecting the Nobel Prize, he is often credited with delivering this wee gem that should be a lesson to businesses everywhere:

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex … It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”

Every day our Edinburgh PR agency strives to achieve simplicity when telling the business stories of our PR clients, some of whom operate in complex or technical sectors. But complexity can cause mischief in other ways. It doesn’t take a genius of Einstein’s calibre to realise that too many cooks can spoil the broth.

For example, when a business has a major, important and positive announcement, it should be simple to ensure media coverage, right? Sadly, in the real world such announcements are usually anything but simple.

Factors such as too many stakeholders, disagreements over mixed messaging and paranoia over the likely media reaction all add complexity.  Matters can be even worse with joint announcements, involving more than one organisation and more than one PR agency.

So, how do you make sure that your firm’s major announcement gets the coverage it deserves and how do you manage the various stakeholders through the process?

Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh works with CommsworldWe’ve just handled exactly such a project for our client Commsworld, founded by Edinburgh businessman Ricky Nicol (pictured), while also working seamlessly with its project partner CityFibre and two other PR agencies to ensure both simplicity and success.

The result? An announcement about superfast new internet being rolled out for businesses in Edinburgh earned acres of coverage across Scottish media, business titles, the financial press and a host of technical media.

There are no secrets to that success – the three main ingredients were careful planning, joined up thinking and teamwork. If your business is looking at big, complex projects, here’s our guide to how we kept things simple.

THE BACKGROUND

Commsworld is a Scottish network and internet provider that is hugely respected in an industry, which is ruled by big players such as BT and Virgin.  CityFibre is a leading network infrastructure provider and last week announced that Edinburgh was to be the latest city to become part of the gigabyte revolution.

The project will transform Edinburgh’s digital infrastructure, enabling world class connectivity and will future-proof the city as the thirst for greater bandwidth. CityFibre chose Commsworld as a local partner due to its expertise and large existing customer base in the city that would ensure Edinburgh businesses will be the first to benefit.

CityFibre and Commsworld estimate that the first 50km of network focused on central Edinburgh, will bring internet speeds up to 100 times faster than the UK’s average, for 7000 businesses.

This was a huge announcement for both firms as well as the City of Edinburgh – and demanded that three separate PR agencies which work with the two separate businesses must work closely together.

THE PR PLAYERS

A teacup which says I love PRLike many large companies, CityFibre works with two PR agencies. Vigo looks after its reputation in the City in London, making sure the firm’s financial results and reputation are positioned correctly with analysts and investors.

Fieldhouse is a PR agency that specialises in the technology sector, helping CityFibre gain coverage in the trade press, which includes techie titles that will drill deeper on the details of network communications stories.

Meanwhile Commsworld works with our award winning Scottish public relations agency to increase brand awareness and bring in new business leads through exposure in the Scottish media and in specialist trade titles.

THE JOINED UP THINKING

Anyone involved in these types of deals knows that such multi stakeholder announcements can turn out to be extremely complex and challenging as various parties vie for responsibility and ownership.

Thankfully, all five businesses in this case agreed to simplify the process from the outset, making sure it was efficient and enjoyable as we agreed an easy-to-follow plan:

  • CityFibre, having rolled out similar announcements in the past would take the lead on the project.
  • Commsworld would add its expertise both in terms of its technical knowledge and the Edinburgh market.
  • Vigo would take the PR lead on the actual announcement, including drafting the initial media release and making the first announcement to the City at 7am.
  • Fieldhouse would ensure the release was technically sound and focus on specialist trade titles with CityFibre’s key messages.
  • Our Edinburgh PR agency would do what we do best – earning plentiful coverage in the Scottish media.
  • All three agencies shared a clear protocol for handling media enquiries and funnelling them to the correct person.

THE TEAM WORK

This common sense approach was a real winner and I can honestly say that the whole operation was one of the slickest of this type that I have ever been involved in.

The clarity gained from simplicity meant there were no disagreements over responsibilities. All five businesses took care of their remit, working together to make sure everything was aligned and timed correctly.

The sign-off process for the media release was trouble free. Minor changes were handled smoothly and without disagreement.

THE RESULTS

The day of the announcement went without a hitch and positive coverage poured in.  The announcement was covered by various city investor/analyst and online financial titles, including Londonstockexchange.com, Moneyam and Morningstar.

At last count a whopping ten trade titles carried the story, reaching a vast number of Commsworld’s and CityFibre’s target market. Key online titles for the sector who ran the article included ispreview.co.uk, recombu.com, totaltele.com and itportal.co.uk.

With the announcement being based on Edinburgh, reaching Scottish businesses was absolutely vital to the future success of the project.

So far eight major business or news titles have carried the story including The Scotsman, The National, The Herald, The Edinburgh Evening News, Business Quarterly Magazine Live and the Daily Record online.

Commsworld and CityFibre are both delighted with the result and we’re working with them to chase down follow-up opportunities.


 Find out more about the coverage achieved for this project


 Find out how you too could enjoy the business benefits delivered by a public relations agency that understand the power of simplicity

If you’d like to find out how our award-winning public relations agency in Edinburgh can help your business, then we’d love to speak with you.

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Public relations account director with Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Private: Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis is part of the expert PR team at Holyrood Partnership, a multi award-winnning Scottish public relations agency, which offers media relations, social media, photography, video, crisis management and PR in Edinburgh.

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