Six of our fave successes from 2020 – memorable Scottish PR case studies that hit the mark in a tough year

by Chris Fairbairn

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Despite a global pandemic, our team delivered 12 months of colourful stories, captured in these PR case studies

Six of our 2020 successes – Scottish PR case studies from a tough year

THERE’S nothing we love more than helping our clients to tell their stories to the world – and despite the challenges of 2020 we’ll still take colourful memories from this difficult year.

Like everyone else, we can’t wait to bring to a close to 2020. So, we’ve cheered ourselves up by putting our heads together (via video call) and remembering some of our favourite campaigns of 2020.

This classy half-dozen PR case studies range from innovative digital and social media campaigns to the traditional, feel-good stories. Basically, we’ve worked tirelessly to deliver success after success.

In no particular order, these are six of our favourite PR high points, which tickled the taste buds of the media, told stories that reached huge audiences and left our clients basking in the glow of positive exposure (click on any of the images below to get through to the full success post):


  1. Surgeons turn Covid saviours

Six of our 2020 successes – Scottish PR case studies from a tough year

Early into the pandemic, when we were all sent into a frenzy of hysteria, the kind-hearted and level-headed boses at a top Edinburgh hotel rose above the clamour with a genuinely stonking commitment.
Ten Hill Place, run by Surgeons Quarter, pledged that, for as long as it could be sustained, it would accommodate frontline hospital workers, who were set to be stretched to their limits.
The best bit? It would be provided entirely free of charge, even going as far as to provide an evening meal, a breakfast, and a packed lunch, courtesy of the hotel’s award-winning catering team.
While few of us had truly grasped the severity of Covid, many of the hotel’s team volunteered to stay on working rather than be put on furlough.
Our team of hotel PR experts made sure the nation heard about the generous gesture. Exceptional UK national, Scottish national, local and specialist coverage resulted in 2137 free nights of accommodation and thousands of free meals being taken up.
Not only that, the hotel will forever have a legacy as a business that went to incredible lengths (not to mention costs) to bring a societal benefit when the country needed it most.


  1. The launch of Paths for All’s walking podcast

Digital PR photography Paths For All podcast success post graphic

Scottish walking charity, Paths For All, took May’s lockdown restrictions as an opportunity to help the nation enjoy daily exercise, by creating its podcast, “Mind To Walk”.
It was narrated by Edith Bowman, well known DJ and television presenter, whose familiar voice was perfect for putting listeners minds’ at ease.
The podcast was a significant achievement for the team who worked tirelessly to brainstorm the idea and pull together the whole process, resulting in a very happy client and a bounty of success results.
Not only did news of the podcast resulted in 81 items of coverage, including a prime spot on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, but the podcast itself saw 2172 downloads in its first month.
The podcast was also enjoyed by a host of online influencers, with one saying “Love this podcast, it’s so calming” and another sharing “I absolutely love things like this.”
This charity PR campaign highlighted the creative and forward-thinking minds at Holyrood PR. No matter how high the bar is set, the team will always soar over it.


  1. The first UK rocket test in 50 years

Tech PR success story for rocket launch company, Skyrora

When Skyrora, an Edinburgh-based private space company, carried out the UK’s first complete ground rocket test in 50 years, Holyrood PR knew it was the perfect viral story.
The test was carried out near the Scottish Highlands and saw the Skylark-L perform all actions required for a launch while restrained to the ground.
To ensure this exciting story was snapped up by the media, our team jumped into action, preparing video footage, social media posts and of course a media release.
Thanks to our tech PR team, this story racked up an astonishing 340 items of coverage, reaching a potential audience of 19 million people.
This included major mentions on both the BBC and STV websites. And if that wasn’t enough, the campaign saw Skyrora’s web traffic spike by 1500%.
Furthermore, we delivered a combined social media reach of 600,000 opportunities to see across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Skyrora’s social accounts also received a host of new followers, providing a major boost to its online brand.
It seems fair to say that this success was one small step for man, and one giant leap for Holyrood PR.


  1. Mackie’s collaboration with Bake Off’s Flora Shedden

Food and Drink PR success graphic on Mackie's of Scotland recipe collaboration by Holyrood PR

This round-up wouldn’t be complete without an influencer collaboration, which is exactly what we helped Mackie’s do with 2015 Great British Bake Off semi-finalist, Flora Shedden.
The collaboration was part of Mackie’s ‘Summer of Simple Pleasures’ campaign, which was aimed at showcasing simple, yet delicious, recipes and treats for families to try in the summer.
Our food and drink PR experts knew the key to this collaboration would be to combine the extraordinary baking skills of Flora with Mackie’s deliciously, high-quality products, generating success for both parties.
Flora used her incredible skills to create four recipes which she then shared with her then 43,000 followers. Her creations were liked by 3224 people, saved by 397 and shared by 68 others.
The release from Holyrood PR secured an extra six items of coverage, including print and online features in the Press and Journal – tasty!
This success allowed the team to show off our versatility, working not only traditionally but also keeping up with the modern, social wave and integrating with renowned social media influencers.


  1. Students turn uni disappointment into touching pandemic success story

social care PR photography Bield Students at Home success post graphic

Lockdown saw many stories of individuals going the extra mile to look after those most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Those caring folk included three university students taking on part-time care assistant roles at alocal housing development during the summer.
Students Katrina, Katie and Ellen from Linlithgow took it upon themselves to care for some of the vulnerable, while gaining significant work experience as part of Bield Housing and Care’s ‘Bield at Home’ service.
We helped tell the story and delivered a host of regional and national coverage, with top highlights including the Daily Record and a feature on University of Glasgow’s newsletter, which is sent to more than 30,000 of its students.
We didn’t stop there, our talented team of social care PR experts secured a television interview with the trio on That’s TV, where they were able to share their tale on camera.
This story came from a simple phone call with our client when we asked them what was new. We took a passing remark and transformed it into a heart-warming story which achieved great success.


  1. CALA went to town on Waterfront Plaza

Property PR guarantees exposure for CALA’s newest showhome launch

Long before the first spade hit the ground, we’ve worked with CALA Homes to ensure its impressive Leith development, Waterfront Plaza is high profile and in the spotlight.
That started with helping the firm to build media and public support to help overcome a potential negative planning outcome, a campaign which won a Silver accolade at the CIPR Awards.
We’ve also been there to help launch the development, while creating a buzz for its reimagining of Edinburgh’s famed colony model of housing.
Since then sales have been stellar, with the colonies selling beyond all forecasts and in a matter of weeks.
2020 has seen a continuation of our close involvement with this shoreline development on our own doorstep. Firstly, saw the firm launch its first townhouses, the largest homes on site – along with an impressive showhome.
The story hit the headlines and created over 533,000 opportunities to see with features in top titles, The Sunday Mail, The Scotsman, Scottish Construction and the Edinburgh Evening News.
Our property PR experts successfully secured media coverage showcasing the spectacular homes, and putting them in front of potential buyers, suppliers and investors.
In addition we used our reservoir of knowledge of the development to craft an award entry that struck gold in the Scottish Home Awards in the hotly contested “Innovation in Design” category, giving the development a further boost and rounding off a great year for one of the city’s most exciting projects.


In need of a Scottish PR agency that delivers results like this on a daily basis?

We’re looking forward to a bright 2021 – and would love to learn more about your business goals and to demonstrate how professional PR can help you to smash them. Get in touch with us on 0131 561 2244 or by using the 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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