PR campaigns with creative muscle from PR experts with the right mindset

by Sarah Fairley

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

How the creative process in public relations starts with the small stuff

Through-The-Keyhole-LogoWelcome to our essential business guide into the inner workings of a PR agency. In this post we give you a peek behind the scenes at the creative processes and how they can make or break your chances of media coverage.

Creativity often involves a lightbulb momentWHAT do these have in common: Ninja window washers, a bathroom made of chocolate and a fishing village whistling ban?

They’re all examples of the inventive ideas dreamt up by smart public relations agencies to deliver a boost to businesses which understand the value of a positive media profile.

Creativity is much sought after by people who are weighing up PR services for their business or organisation. Public relations agencies invited to present to potential clients are often expected to come up with “one big idea”.

Certainly that kind of “big idea” creativity can deliver a burst of intense media activity. But really savvy businesses think far beyond that and demand the kind of “little idea” creativity that will sustain a long-term, public relations campaign for years. And we’ll explain how as you read on.

There’s is no magic formula for inventiveness, but at our Scottish PR agency we believe that creativity is a muscle that can be flexed when really required if it is exercised in small ways every single day.

Careful planning and spontaneous creativity may seem like odd bedfellows. Schedule a meeting, sit a dozen people round a table, ask them to “be creative” and you’ve probably got a recipe for spark-free awkwardness. Not surprising. You wouldn’t order your team into a room to start lifting heavy weights if they’d rarely been to a gym. So why expect them to deliver clever, creative and insightful ideas amid a workload of spreadsheets and sales ledgers?

At Holyrood PR we spotted this dilemma a long time ago – and it’s why we make creativity a part of our everyday work. Of course, there are times when we schedule team brainstorms.  But our main focus is on bouncing ideas back and forth between colleagues as a matter of routine, no matter how minor the story may seem.

That way we all help each other to spot unusual hooks or ways to a link story with popular culture. Like the water cleaning robot that looks like a Disney character, the rental housing trend that matches an episode of Friends or the anti-crime conference with a Breaking Bad theme.

There are also a number of unique factors at Holyrood PR which we have deliberately created to encourage creativity and to make sure we keep that creativity muscle well exercised.

The first is our website. We update it every day – more than any other PR agency in Scotland – and that forces us to think like the newspapers, news sites and bloggers we are pitching to. We want our website to be as interesting, informative and engaging as possible – all of which demands creativity.

The second unique point is our in-house photography and video services. Thinking how every single story could be better told with the aid of photos and video is a process which unlocks the imagination and unleashes creative ideas. Real, practical creativity that has to work – not pipe dream, pie-in-the-sky ideas unlikely to get off the ground.

social media phoneOn top of all this we then apply the creativity to ways of sharing all that content via social media platforms – coming up with ways to align with trending topic, popular hashtags or simply linking to great, related content elsewhere on the web.

So, one big idea might deliver a short burst of intense coverage and interest, but then what? Real, deep and long-term creativity isn’t about gimmicks and one-off photocalls.

It’s about digging out PR gold from otherwise unpromising material time-after-time, month-after-month and year-after-year.



Don’t forget to check out the other posts and insights in our Through the Keyhole guide to PR services

Public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh explains why businesses need PRCLIENT ENGAGEMENT – Public relations success is all about you. That means you have to be involved, from regular meetings and agreeing on Key Messages to sign-off procedures.


Media coverage is delivered by awarding winning Edinburgh PR agency Holyrood PRTHE STORYTELLING PROCESS – An at-a-glance guide on how to find the right story hook, how to write it for the right audience and the importance of visual storytelling for the digital era.


The multi-millionaire investors from BBC TV's Dragons' DenTHE PITCH PROCESS – Life’s a pitch – from the TV antics on Dragons Den to making the case to your boss for a pay rise. We explain how PR pitching is one of the most vital ingredients in your success.




How tomeasure the success of public relationsPR MEASUREMENT – When your media coverage and other results start rolling in, find out how the top PR professionals make sure the impact is a positive and measurable for your business.



Find out how our Scottish PR agency can help your business

Don’t just wheel out the creative big guns once every six months. If you want to be certain that you are getting the most creative possible approach to all of your stories, no matter how minor, then you need to speak with us.

Our team of public relations experts will be delighted to discuss how we can deliver measurable benefits to your business. 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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    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.

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