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Media hacked for Cyber Crime Summit

by Chris Fairbairn

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Infiltration into the public arena achieved – for crucial conference to tackle cyber crime

SBRC unveil Snoopy the droneTHERE is a secret world of keyboard criminals, sinister coders and tech-savvy con artists with one major goal in mind – to do your business harm.

While most of us are aware that such a nefarious network exists, it manages to operate in a hidden, twilight world with many businesses unsure of where the real threat may come from.

Here at Holyrood PR we are proud of the award-winning work we have delivered to help give a more powerful voice to Scotland’s cyber crime fighters at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC). That in turn has helped to get vital crime prevention messages in front of thousands of businesses.

In our latest campaign for the SBRC we delivered our trademark 360 Degree PR service to promote its March conference, Trading Securely for Business.

By ensuring powerful and eyecatching storytelling about the event in words, pictures and video we delivered a cacophony of headlines in local, national, specialist and online media – all helping drive home the messages about what businesses can do to protect themselves.

The results included:

  • 33 Pieces of coverage
  • 1,867,741 Opportunities to see
  • Ensuring the conference was a total sell out.

We’ve already helped establish the SBRC as Scotland’s key industry voice for all matters regarding cyber crime and Trading Securely for Business was due to be their biggest ever cyber conference, organised with Police Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Edinburgh PR agency show how they help clients achieve more media coverage

Find out more about how our 360 degree PR approach delivers multiple bites of the cherry when it comes to PR success.  By delivering words, pictures and video that work on paper, on line and on air, we help our clients to tell their success stories again and again.

With some of the planet’s top experts and firms on the frontline in the battle against cyber crime congregating in Edinburgh, we were tasked with raising awareness for the vital summit – at the same time communicating key warnings to help protect the Scottish population from damaging attacks.

For SBRC we carefully planned a rollout of stories designed to put the conference on the news agenda – and to keep it there, ensuring the messages reached the maximum possible audiences.

So here is the six stage stage process we followed to deliver that sensational surge of positive media headlines and attention:



With the SBRC now established and highly regarded within media circles, we were able to use its authority as the basis for a foundation story – essentially announcing the upcoming conference and alluding to the calibre of the speakers.

Pitching as the most comprehensive event of its type ever to take place in Scotland we were able to secure key print coverage in the Scotland on Sunday, following up with an online feature on Scotland Business News Network.

By achieving such highly credible coverage in some of Scotland’s key business press, online and in print, we not only announced the conference for the first time, but we also created a platform for follow up stories.


We now moved on to the next stage of the campaign , the regional rollout. This was specificially aimed at reaching businesses all across Scotland via the trusted local media serving their towns and communities.

To do that we came up with a  useful “five step guide” targeted at businesses of all sizes which may be wary of the fact that them don’t have full control of employees’ mobile devices.

So,  we then broke it down by region, understanding that this would provide a useful guide for smaller local businesses unsure where to start when securing their mobile devices.


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Starting with a feature on the respected Scotland B2B news site, the coverage then appeared across a series of local newspapers and sites, including Montrose Today, Arbroath Herald, Brechin Advertiser and the Fife Free Press.


Even after two successes, we were still hungry to find more ways to keep building the narrative – and to keep the media interests. That meant digging out other stories and identifying new angles to keep things fresh and interestings.

So we looked to the expert speakers, this time across the North Sea to Norwegian firm, Rosberg Systems and the presentation by its Chief Technical Officer, Odd Helge Rosberg.  We quickly realised that there was a clear theme to the problem its products were addressing – and one that would chime with most people if explained in simple terms.

While the technical details show that Rosberg Systems was  producing solutions to stop two growing ‘silent’ threats: IMSI Catchers and Silent SMS,  we took the time to dig a bit deeper to understand what this really meant.

Check out our release on the five essential measures for businesses looking to regain control of work devices, which we developed and issued on behalf of SBRCEdinburgh PR Agency with SBRC


In both cases, they refer to attacks being carried out by crooks  that leave victims completely unaware that their mobile devices have  been breached. Since most people now carry a smart phone in their pocket and it has become the most personal device in history, we knew this story, properly told, would catch the media attention.

We were proved absolutely right when the  story pricked the attention of the press – with further national coverage in the Daily Express, Scotsman and the National – as well as online with the Daily Record.


But the focus on mobile phones and devices didn’t stop there – and we still had one further story ace up our sleeves. While first researching the conference and its speakers, we quickly spotted what we believed would be the star attraction: Snoopy, a drone capable of hacking hundreds of nearby mobile devices at a time.

As accomplished story spotters we immediately knew this  offered a quirky story hook that would be utterly compelling to the media, looking for easy-to-understand ways to explain the risks to their audience.

In reality, Snoopy was the brainchild of Zimbabwean ethical hacker, Glenn Wilkinson, an erudite professional who created the drone (thankfully) as an educational tool.

We worked with Glenn to tell the story about what this technology could be used for in the wrong hands – arranging for both photography and video to help build a compelling story that would reach as many people in the target audience as possible.

Check out the media release that caused a stir, with help from a flying drone that can hack your phone

This story drew the crowds. We pitched both Glenn Wilkinson and Odd Helge Rosberg for Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland, to discuss the evolving threat to mobile devices, driving further awareness of the global influence of the cyber conference.

The media release resulted in direct features on STV, the National and on Deadline News.


People want their PR agency to show up when needed. To stand up and be counted when it matters.

Sometimes that means listening intently to work out what problems the business needs help in addressing. Sometimes it means going the extra mile creatively to deliver the story they want to tell.

In this case ‘showing up’ meant just that – and we made a point of attending the Trading Securely for Business Conference, to learn of stories of the day, and to assist with press in attendance.

This included BBC Radio Scotland, who following the Good Morning Scotland interview in the morning, featured the conference on their drive time news round-up, along with interviews from Glenn Wilkinson.

We were also able to pull together a professional video, with interviews from Glenn and Mandy Haeburn-Little, SBRC Director.

This was then widely shared on the SBRC’s social channels, creating further engaging content and getting the word out to a broad audience already interested in the work of the centre.

SIX – Switch it off: A Final Lesson Too Often Learned the Hard Way

A key takeaway theme of the day was the regular encouragement from a number of speakers to turn off Wi-Fi off from our mobile devices, when not in use.

Sounds easy, but devices, such as the likes of Snoopy are able to extract a staggering amount of information, when Wi-Fi is running on a roaming device.

As such, this simple but effective message was the subject of the final statement and the final communication from the cyber resilience conference.

Switch it off: Read the final press release of the cyber conference campaign

It led to a further feature on STV’s website, with the article driving huge amounts of traffic and engagement through its social media streams.


What could so easily have been a single press release, with a boat load of information, resulting in one fell swoop of coverage, instead became a thorough ongoing campaign – thanks to the storytelling skills of our team.



1 – A Legitimate Bargain: How we helped shine a light on conmen, crooks and counterfeiters, getting a Government minister to front a campaign, which helped secure vital additional funding for the SBRC

2 – Insider Threat: The unpalatable truth is that the biggest crime threat to many businesses comes from their own staff. Our PR campaign made the message easier to swallow

3 – Ethical Hacker: Learn how we told the story of Scotland’s very own ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” style hacker who is helping keep businesses safe



We managed to achieve national, local, business, digital and broadcast coverage, containing useful advice and warnings, quirky features and informative stories.

Above and beyond this we delivered a professional video, helping the centre communicate through its own social channels.

As such we nailed the objectives set to us and delivered a campaign to be proud of.



Engage in PR and make your staff happier and profits grow. For more information call us on 0131 561 2244 or use the handy wee form below:

Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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