Hooray for Holyrood as Scottish PR agency helps client grab a starring role in George Clooney’s visit
Monday, December 7th, 2015
on behalf of Tigerlily and Lulu
How to turn a one hour window into PR gold? Find out with these priceless tips from a Scottish PR agency
TIGERLILY, Edinburgh’s prime style venue, was ready for its biggest ever close-up as Hollywood A-lister George Clooney rolled into town.
Getting one of the most famous people on the planet to pop into your business is as about a good as it gets when it comes to celebrity endorsements.
Indeed, most companies might have expected the PR to take care of itself, as the aura surrounding Clooney would remove any need for creative thinking or hard endeavour.
However, to their horror, the team at Tigerlily realised hopes of a headline-grabbing role were rapidly turning into a disaster movie – and the dream of using Gorgeous George’s visit to put the venue on the radar of millions of potential customers was fast disappearing.
Find out the five amazing plot twists and turns which saw Holyrood PR help save the day – and ensure this was a Hollywood story with a very happy ending.
1. When the script doesn’t go as planned
Like many a good movie plot, after a hopeful opening the story very quickly started to unravel. But it wasn’t until the big day itself that the Tigerlily team got a full picture of the obstacles they were facing.
- Firstly, a news blackout had been ordered until Clooney had left his lunch date at Tigerlily, putting tight limits on what could be said and when.
- Then it became apparent that potential media interest on Tigerlily was set to be squeezed out because the actor had already scheduled a high-profile PR event earlier in the day – covered by scores of photographers and reporters and already running on 24-hour news channels.
- All of this was was before Clooney went on to do his well-documented stint at the Scottish Business Awards that evening – another engagement likely to claim limited media space.
In short, there was every chance Tigerlily was about to be relegated down the cast list as a lowly, faceless extra, with no one caring or taking an interest.
2. When the leading man or woman saves the day
That was unless some sort of urgent action was taken, so in stepped Holyrood PR to save the day – in the shape of our own leading man, Raymond Notarangelo. The results were worthy of any PR Oscar with audiences across traditional and social media lapping up the activity.
While we had been advised in confidence the day before that Clooney would probably visit Tigerlily as part of his trip to Edinburgh, the George Street venue was only able to give Holyrood PR one hour’s notice ahead of his arrival – meaning we had just 60 minutes to to devise and deliver a plan to maximise the PR value of the actor’s appearance.
Director Raymond Notarangelo put in place a series of quick fire actions to ensure that Tigerlily not only was able to grab a chunk of the extensive media interest in the Clooney visit – but that it generated awareness from potential, and existing, customers.
After ensuring he could attend the lunch event, Raymond got working on what Holyrood PR does best – spotting the stories that others don’t see.
That meant finding out the rationale behind the cleverly Scottish-themed menu, uncovering how Tigerlily’s chefs worked with a team from Social Bite, the social enterprise sandwich shop which offers jobs to homeless people. Raymond also identified the three-strong female waiting team who served Clooney and discovered exactly what Gorgeous George said to them while trying to find some useful titbits, like whether or not the Hollywood celeb offered any acting advice or left a tip.
Another usuful snippet which Raymond dug up was the fact that Tigerlily had honoured reservations from guests who had made lunch bookings long before Clooney’s confirmation, which meant those diners ended up with an unexpected treat as they tucked into lunch just feet away from one of the most famous men on the planet.
3 – Old Stager delivers handsome PR success
When it comes to media success, not much trumps experience. As an old stager, Raymond knows only too well the value of images and made sure to capture pictures of the waiting staff, the menu card, the wine drunk during the lunch, George Clooney’s seat and even the movie star’s name card which identified his table place.
He also used his superb media contacts to source images of Clooney entering Tigerlily from one of the professional photographers outside so that those could be used for Tigerlily’s social media channels.
From this assembled information – and with the clock ticking – Raymond put together a media release that focused on the lucky three waitresses who had served George and how this was his first taste of Scottish dining. This was swiftly issued to all print and broadcast media at exatly the right time as the 24-hour news cycle meant they were looking for any fresh information.
To follow up on that activity, Raymond then pulled together a series of witty and eye-catching social media posts to be rolled out throughout the day/night, including a collection of images uploaded to Tigerlily’s Facebook page to capitalise on the venue’s strong social audience.
Finally to keep the momentum rolling, Raymond issued a second media release the day after Clooney’s visit, highlighting the story of the lucky diners who were able to rub shoulders with Clooney as a result of Tigerlily honouring their long-standing lunchtime bookings.
4 – Client name in lights thanks to food and drink PR
The media coverage was a huge success – delivering 15 pieces of coverage with an extraordinary reach of more than 5 milliion. Tigerlily even grabbed the front cover of influential trade magazine Dram, with owner David Wither sharing the limelight with Mr Clooney.
So while we know the value of getting coverage to raise awareness to potential new customers, Holyrood PR is always focused on clients’ other business objectives such as putting them ahead of competitors.
But perhaps the best impact was through Tigerlily’s social media audience – the Facebook posts (at the time of writing) created 41,223 post clicks and brought an additional reach of 240,682 with the numbers continuing to rise. Better still, the comments from posts were amazing, such as ‘Look who was in our favourite Edinburgh bar’ and ‘If it’s good enough for George, it must be good enough for us’ and ‘We’ve got to get ourselves there pronto’.
5 – The advantage of PR experts
It’s the second time we have stepped in to help Tigerlily with an immediate PR problem. In September, the Tigerlily team called upon us to help manage the re-launch of the refurbished ground floor of the venue – with just one week’s notice.
Montpeliers wanted an agency that were tried and trusted experts in PR – who have a track record of success, a wealth of experience and the ability to deliver what they say they will.
The results – given the tight timescale – endorsed the confidence put in us by Montpeliers and are highlighted here.
It was a very pleasing back-to- the-future moment for Holyrood PR as we had been appointed by owners Montpeliers Ltd to handle the opening of Tigerlily in 2006. For more on how we were recruited once more, have a look at this post.
The advantage of PR professionals from Holyrood PR is that we spot stories in every situation. In fact, our purpose (what drives and motivates our entire time) is that “We believe stories are at the heart of every business, and when these stories are told the right audiences, they help businesses to become more profitable while making workplaces happier and more productive.”
That’s how we have built our reputation for delivering impressive results for businesses, products and services that previously weren’t considered exciting enough to make headlines.
Find out how our Scottish PR agency can help your business make the headlines
If you like the way we take apparently unpromising material and turn it into PR gold, we’d love to hear from you to discuss how we could boost your business. Give us a call on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the contact form below and we will get back to you.
Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood Partnership, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.
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