Scotland’s very own ‘girl with the dragon tattoo’ is a tech PR success story
Friday, February 19th, 2016
Referencing a popular culture sensation helped anti-crime group to reach the national media
AT HOLYROOD PR our mantra is to tell your stories to the world.
But even our acknowledged storytelling experts, still take inspiration from modern masterpieces – and Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series certainly falls into that category.
When we learned that our client, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) had recruited its first female Ethical Hacking student, in what has historically been a male dominated industry we were quickly drawing comparisons to the punk heroine of the globally-successful Scandinavian thriller trilogy.
Then we discovered her name – Lisa Fiander, which considering the line of expertise, is remarkably similar to Larsson’s anti-hero, Lisbeth Salander, who was played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace in the original movie version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and then portrayed by Rooney Mara (pictured) in the Hollywood remake.
To our eye these similarities had the hallmarks of a great story, providing an instant popular-culture reference point and making what could be a difficult subject more accessible, and therefore a more attractive proposition for news media and their target audience.
It would have been easy to just sit back and rely on the clever comparison – and the novelty of ethical hackers – but instead we continued to work the story hard, highlighting different aspects to ensure an extensive spread of media coverage.
We also used our writing to tackle a tricky but important issue – the historic lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries. Where many have got it vastly wrong, we communicated the issue clearly, hammering home the important message – that if somebody is good enough to excel in a job in any industry, they should not face any barriers because of their gender, colour, religion or age.
The results were stellar – with more than
Nationally we scored coverage, both in print and online, in the Scotsman and the National. Since Lisa is an Abertay University student, we successfully pitched her story to Dundee’s Evening Telegraph.
Hailing from Perth, the story also appeared in the Courier, Perthshire Advertiser and Blairgowrie Advertiser.
Finally, with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre being based in Stirling – you guessed it, we were able to secure features in both local papers, the Stirling News and the Stirling Observer.
The hard work didn’t just stop there. To ensure maximum ‘traction’ for the story, we created the perfect package – arranging supporting professional photos as well as a video media release, which featured in a number of key titles alongside the story.
That video could also be reworked and shared online. At the time of writing it has reached over 600 Facebook users, but perhaps more impressively had 139 YouTube views, with an average viewing time of 57 seconds – no mean feat these days.
The combination of sheer hard work, combined with storytelling prowess and the use of images and video resulted in a staggering result.
As a result we were able to communicate an inspiring story to vast audience – plus highlight the incredibly positive work of the SBRC, marketing it to a target SME audience and underpinning the importance of diversity within various industries.
Good storytelling positively transforms businesses – boosting profits and making them a more attractive place to work
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Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.View Chris's Profile
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