Why should your PR support stop at the border when your ambitions don’t?

by Chris Fairbairn

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

With storytelling at its heart this Scottish PR agency has a healthy record south of the border

Scottish PR agency achieving coverage across borders in England and Wales

AT THIS very moment in time, Holyrood PR does not have an English office, branch, hot-desk or PO Box. We’re a long-standing Scottish PR agency and proud of it.

So being the only Englishman in the team (just – I grew up in the historically disputed Berwick-upon-Tweed) it seems only appropriate that I should be the one to address a question we’re often asked by prospective clients:

Can you still get me coverage in England, or even Wales?

First of all, it’s a very good point.

We’re naturally at home with Scottish media – reading and absorbing it every day – and building and maintaining our close relations with the constantly evolving press.

But are we limited by our Edinburgh roots – and is your only route to cross-border coverage a costly global agency with multiple ‘glass and chrome’ offices?

Well to further emphasise our credentials, I’ve listed four real and unique client examples, each highlighting different occasions we’ve been required to apply our craft to attract the attention of business impacting English and Welsh media.


Mackie's Ice Cream Scottish PR agencyIf you’re living north of the border or have ever visited, it is likely you know of Mackie’s of Scotland. The family firm’s delicious sweet treats are a dinner-time staple up here, proven by its ranking as a top 10 Scottish food and drink brand.

England and Wales however is a slightly different picture for the firm – and as such represents fertile grounds for future business expansion.

In its 30th year anniversary of making ice cream, the family dairy offered up two exceptional competitions – to win a lifetime supply of the sweet stuff and a separate comp to win the ultimate party. As well as that, 12 winners from its devoted fanbase were awarded a year supply of ice cream.

When both the big winners and one of the year supply victors were revealed as English residing fans, we stepped in to ensure that highly valuable English media coverage was achieved

a) Mountains of ice cream matched by mountains of coverage

When Rosemary Yeldham, a Swindon based aficionado scooped the lifetime of ice cream we successfully pitched to local paper, The Swindon Advertiser, winning highly influential print coverage.

Similarly, with Julie Morrison’s success as one of twelve year’s supply winners, we successfully landed the story in local paper, The Kidderminster Shuttle.

Both of these stories were featured widely across online local and hyperlocal sites – reaching a combined 116,535 potential readers through 19 separate items of coverage.

Edinburgh PR agency guide to enjoying successful local public relations campaignsLocal and Loving it: In an age of evolving media, video, social channels and virtual reality, read here why we still value the power of the ‘good old’ regional media

b) Party Winner

To ensure fans could also celebrate Mackie’s landmark birthday, a competition was launched offering elements to make the ultimate ice cream party.

We spoke to the winner, Abi Larter from Leeds, and worked with local titles to ensure quality local coverage. That resulted in features in print and online in the Yorkshire Evening Post and online in the separate Yorkshire Post, achieving 148,543 vital, English opportunities to see.

Ensuring brand awareness in England helps Mackie’s to make the case for all important shelf time for its delicious products – and further opportunities to develop its reach into new markets.

2) ACS Clothing 

TAYLOR RAE Scottish PR agency ACS ClothingA few years back we helped the largest kilt hire firm rebrand and launch a new custom made suit tailoring service.

Putting our storytelling skills to the fore, we identified a number of quality angles for fun yarns  – with examples including the ‘most common items left in sporrans’ as well as revealing the growing trend for highland wear in England – with celebs driving demand to exceed the homeland!

Our extensive case study explains how we broke down stories to deliver remarkable coverage across almost every region of England, as well as UK national print and broadcast media coverage.

We delivered major coverage south of the border thanks to storytelling and an innate understanding of the press. Journalists are looking for engaging stories that they believe suit their readers. As we once again proved, it didn’t matter one iota that those stories originated from a Scottish PR agency.


Edinburgh PR Agency 'putts' US Golf Championship to the topSince 2009 we have been the chosen agency to work with the prestigious US Kids Golf competitions that take place in East Lothian and attract golf’s top talent from all corners of the globe.

Our repeat success has been due to our flexibility and our story spotting and distribution – that ensures cross-border coverage year after year.

In 2016 alone we delivered close to 750,000 opportunities to see and 29 cuttings. Of that total, 17 items of coverage were English and Welsh regional titles, including the Isle of Wight Observer, Lancashire Telegraph, Yorkshire Evening Post, Burton Mail and Cambridge News – reflecting success for local youngsters across the UK.

Edinburgh PR Agency 'putts' US Golf Championship to the topGet the full run-down on the success of this year’s US Kids Golf competitions, as 619 of the world’s best junior golfers battled it out across five of Scotland’s most challenging ‘golf coast’ courses

For USKG, the ability to attract attention across England and Wales ensures its continued success, directly driving sign- ups for its future Scottish competitions.

4) Trading up

It is worth concluding, that while regional and national print titles have suffered a well-publicised decline in recent years, trade titles remain fundamentally important within the vast majority of industries.

Edinburgh PR agency show how they help clients achieve more media coverageAs part of our 360 degree, multiple bites at the cherry approach to public relations, we always ensure our stories gain the maximum traction, so that the same story, often tweaked to suit the audience, can reach the largest numbers.

More often than not, trade titles have reach across both sides of the border, and can deliver coverage directly to engaged, industry minded clients – or morale boosting sector recognition.

We fully believe that it is often the unlikely places which will drive the new business leads – and by engaging with a wide array of media we leave little to chance.

Scottish PR agency with the nous to get you cross-border recognition  

You perhaps thought you required a global creative agency to achieve the cross-border reach your brand ambition requires, however you’ll hopefully be thankful that there is another way.

We may be based in Edinburgh, but our size and storytelling skills give us the platform to achieve border-free success without the eye-watering and unclear costs.

We’re easy to reach too – simply call one of our friendly team on 0131 561 2244 or use the quick form below:

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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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