Learn. Improve. Apply. Repeat. How To Make Sure You Pick the Perfect PR Agency

by Melissa Craib

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

If you want to work with PR experts who are committed to staff development, here’s what to look out for

doors to choose between like picking an award winning pr agency

IF YOU are choosing or already using a PR agency then you know the sizeable investment involved – and you want to make sure you are getting the best possible value for money.

Your checklist of qualities you want in a PR agency is likely to include a bulging media contacts book, bags of creativity and a proven track record of delivering success at an affordable price.

It’s less likely that you’re looking for a PR agency with an unshakeable commitment to nurturing its staff through continuous professional development. In fact, even the mention of CPD may cause you to glaze over and start to drift off.

If so, then let us help by explaining exactly what’s in it for YOU when your PR agency invests in its talent and ensures they are continually learning, growing and improving. We’re confident we know a thing or two about this, since between 2006-17 members of our team were shortlisted for Scotland’s prestigious Young Communicator of the Year award seven times, taking home the prize on three separate occasions. That record is unrivalled in Scottish public relations.

Here are a few of the reasons we invest so heavily in CPD – and a few thought-provoking  suggestions of how that benefits our clients and the other people we work with.


1 – Professional Credentials, training and CPD

Logo of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and to sign up to its CPD programme which allows them to develop skills and knowledge throughout their careers.

We also give each member of the team a dedicated annual training budget to invest in the skills and professional abilities that they most want to explore and develop.

Recently, this has seen staff from our public relations agency undertake training in:

  • Building a sustainable social media strategy
  • Broadcasting media trends
  • Proving the return on investment in social media
  • Making the most of video
  • Using Google Analytics in PR
  • Pitching to political journalists
  • How to create a winning LinkedIn profile
  • Making the most of Twitter and associated tools

As a direct result, our clients have reaped real benefits from the learnings that our team has taken away from these courses.Laura Miller STV

For example, after attending the broadcasting media trends workshop, our staff used their schooling to get two of our clients featured on prime time national news and radio programmes, including interviews on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Scotland and STV news.

The courses our digital team have attended on Google Analytics have also helped us analyse website and social media statistics for our clients, helping us to ensure we’re getting them in front of their intended audiences in every possible way.

And it doesn’t stop there. We make sure we grab every opportunity we can to increase our learnings.

The team are lined up to attend many more training events with the aim of boosting our clients’ business profiles. These training events include:

  • Developing an effective press release
  • Selling in to the media
  • Running an effective public relations campaign
  • Developing a digital strategy
  • Email marketing for business

2 – On the job training

As important as classroom training and education are, the biggest, deepest and most insightful learning happens in real life, every day – but most of us spend the best part of our day at work.

So, at Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, we have a detailed, hands-on internal training programme for our staff, which starts with interns and extends to all junior staff. You can see how rewarding our interns find this approach in the blog posts they write about their experiences.Award recognition for Holyrood PR

Our training has been developed over a decade and sees our senior team working daily to mentor those with less experience.

How does this benefit clients – like you?

While you get the drive, enthusiasm and energy of young PR professionals, you know they are constantly drawing on a deep and valuable reservoir of knowledge and experience.

It also means that every member of your PR team is constantly striving to improve – in the ways they find your stories, present your stories and in the depth and range of success they achieve on your behalf.

Perhaps most importantly, professional development doesn’t happen in a vacuum. When a professional PR person is committed to constantly improving while working on YOUR behalf, guess who sees the benefits?


3 – Setting a mental obstacle course

We’re lucky to be working with clients from widely varied industries and walks of life – that alone keeps us sharp and mentally on our toes.

But there’s still the chance that writing media releases for clients – no matter how varied they are in profession – can become formulaic. To make sure we never drift into complacency, we set a daily mental obstacle course for ourselves.

This involves reworking these stories into blog posts, social media updates and website content – all of which involves working with graphics, photography and video.Scottish PR guide on choosing PR agency

Chances are you’ve seen some of this work if you’ve watched an episode of our weekly YouTube show, Holyrood PR TV, or seen our newsletter, with entertaining PR tips and insights with a slightly different approach – like How to Eat an ElephantHow to Avoid Old Mother Hubbard Syndrome or the Pitfalls of Being Like Mary Poppins.


The results?

We’ve collected armfuls of awards and earned a reputation as one of the best PR agencies in Scotland for developing young PR talent.

More importantly, among our clients we are recognised for delivering the highest standards of work – all of this a direct result of our commitment to ongoing learning.

It means our PR team is equipped with the skills to deliver our clients maximum media, improve their social media influence, boost website traffic and establish them as industry influencers – always with an eye on ultimately leading to an increase in their bottom line.


Find out more about how we secured a slots on prime time news for our clients.


Interested in working with our award winning PR agency to tell your stories?

We’d love to help your business find out the amazing benefits that come with a successful public relations campaign.

You can call us on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the simple form below and we’ll get straight back to you.

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

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