Local restaurant dishes out instant PR success with a simple idea

by Angelika Muzyka

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

A large helping of restaurant PR creativity helped to boost Otro’s bookings in just 48 hours

Food and Drink PR success post for Otro's Edinburgh Fringe offer

WE NEVER underestimate the power of a good brainstorm – or the kind of creative, clever thinking that deliver media coverage and MUCH more besides.

When our client, Otro restaurant in Edinburgh, asked us to come up with ideas to boost its bookings during one of the most fiercely competitive times of the year, we quickly gathered our crew of PR experts to work some creative magic.

Not only did we deliver on the bright ideas – within a matter of hours we had amplified powerful messaging to get those ideas in front of more than a whopping 200,000 potential diners via:

  • A powerful email newsletter campaign
  • A raft of coverage in the most influential news titles in the city
  • Wide shares across social and digital media – including the most valuable foodie influencers

Wow. As they say in the restaurant game, the proof of the pudding is in the eating – and Otro were cooking up a storm for the extra 50 covers we delivered in the first 48 hours alone.

So how exactly did we deliver so much, so quickly and with so little fuss? Read on to find out.

Instant results – PR success in double quick time!

Food and Drink PR success post for Otro's Edinburgh Fringe offer

Of course, some agencies can deliver creativity. Others can deliver social media activity. A few can serve up media coverage. But only Holyrood PR can deliver the whole shebang in an integrated PR campaign spanning traditional and digital media – and do it all in less than 24 hours.

It all started with an afternoon phone call from the client, checking on the off-chance that we might be able to help with ideas to boost bookings at the height of Edinburgh’s world-renowned Festival Fringe.

We quickly pulled together our team of PR experts for a creative brainstorm – focused on coming up with quirky, eyecatching but also deliverable ideas the team at Otro could work with.

The following morning we sent the team at Otro a list bursting with 15 smart and practical ideas. They loved them. So much so that just three hours later, the restaurant was issuing a newsletter to its clientele, featuring two of our ideas as not-to-be-missed offers.

One offer was to sample – for free – one of the new tipples from the restaurant’s new cocktail list. The second was a reward for local people (at a time when the city is bursting with tourists), by offering a 10% discount to one who could prove the lived in an EH postcode.

Within just 48 hours of the newsletter going out, it had delivered 50 additional covers for the restaurant – a huge win for Otro’s talented team.

Despite the hype around social media, our clients know that few things deliver the same cut through as a well-curated email list.

Nothing, that is, except ]the sheer reach of coverage in respected local news titles. Naturally, that meant we wanted to follow up the newsletter success with a traditional media campaign.

The power of traditional news story telling

Food and Drink PR success post for Otro's Edinburgh Fringe offer

As expert story spotters, we knew the media would love the tale about an Edinburgh restaurant offering a discount for hard-pressed local people, living under siege from tourists during the crazy month of August and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We were right and the story enjoyed significant exposure – but why is traditional news media coverage so powerful? For a multitude of reasons:

Take the Evening News in Edinburgh for example. Every day close to 15,000 people in the city dig deep in their pockets and hand over 83p for the privilege of reading the local title. They *want* to read it so much they are prepared to pay for it. They don’t skim by the stories the way they might with a Facebook update or a Tweet. They really pay attention, focus and absorb what is happening in their city and community.

Bear in mind each copy of the paper is likely to be read by up to three people. Each of them taking time to peruse and digest the articles. To discuss them, cut them out, stick them to their fridge or work notice board. That’s before you even get to people who will take a quick phone snap of an article and share it with friends or family.

There’s another reason news titles are so important. As it says on the Edinburgh Evening News masthead, it has been serving up “trusted news since 1873”. Professional journalists have worked on every story published. They have tested the accuracy, sought out alternative opinions. Anyone can make wild claims on social platforms. In the professional news media, there is a much higher bar, which helps build that all important trust.

Photo of a news stand to demonstrate media relations

Now is news confined to printed papers? Most credible news outlets have their own websites where many more people will find and browse the stories and share links with family and friends. Often this happens across “dark social” where the reach of the stories simply cannot be measured – when stories are shared by email, text message, across WhatsApp groups, Messenger or via other untrackable messaging apps.

But it goes even further than all of that. When it comes to social media the backbone of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the news stories that people share. Stories from trusted news sources are the lifeblood of social media. Indeed, that’s why these traditional news outlets have such amazing reach on social media. If you or a friend share a story link on your Facebook page, it may reach quite a few people. However, when the Evening News shares a story on its Facebook page, it will reach up to 215,000 followers, many of whom will share it even further.

So what was the media coverage we achieved for Otro? it looked like this:

  • Coverage in Edinburgh’s leading publication the  Edinburgh Evening News, both in print and online, a combined readership of at least 100,000
  • More exposure on Edinburgh Live, the exciting digital news, sport and lifestyle platform serving the city and enjoying tens of thousands of page views every day
  • Valuable column inches on the Edinburgh Reporter website, the respected hyperlocal news site with more than 11,000 readers every day.
  • Further exposure in a series of influential, digital newsletters, each with impressive reach – Edinburgh Reporter newsletter which boasts over 2,000 subscribers and This is Edinburgh’s Marketing Edinburgh newsletter with over 1,000 subscribers
  • The story was shared across social media channels by key publications such as Edinburgh Live and within local foodie Facebook groups such as Tasty Edinburgh which has over 1,700 members – achieving a total social media reach of 40,242
  • In total media coverage generated well in excess of 200,000 opportunities for potential customers to see important messages about Otro

We also created an eye-catching visual to be shared across Otro’s own social media to its base of more than 3000 followers, further boosting valuable engagement and awareness amongst Otro’s target audience.

A quick fix of PR – with quality results

The main dining room at Otro restaurant in EdinburghJust why was all of this activity so important to Otro? August is Edinburgh’s busiest time of the year, with artists and performers from all around the world flocking to the capital to experience the world’s largest arts festival – Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Otro’s prime location in the West End is central, but still a small distance away from the main hub of Fringe activities and out of the way for many Fringe goers which caused worry to the business.

In short, the Otro team wanted to be sure they were getting as many diners as possible from among the huge number of Fringe visitors. The restaurant also wanted to do something special for the local people of Edinburgh who can feel overwhelmed or apprehensive about eating-out during the Festival Fringe because the city centre is so busy.

Our creative ideas, integrated PR, clever media relations and highly effective social media amplification made sure they enjoyed success at this most important time of the year.


Our team of media experts have delivered successful food and drink PR for a diverse range of businesses

Isn’t it time you found out how public relations specialists could help deliver powerful PR success for your pub, restaurant, hotel or hospitality business?

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    Angie Muzyka is a member of the expert PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

    Private: Angelika Muzyka

    Senior Account Executive Angie Muzyka is part of the multi-award-winning PR team at Holyrood PR, a leading Scottish PR agency

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