PR Success for Perth Tourist B2B Campaign

by Raymond Notarangelo

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Perthshire’s travel trade was magnified for a vital business audience thanks to clever PR success

The Library at Innerpeffray

HORSES for courses. Different strokes for different folks. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

We all know the phrases that tell us that most problems have more than one solution available, even if that solution is not immediately obvious.

In fact clever thinking and approaching problems in an innovative way can be the most likely route to delivering positive results that defy expectations.

That’s exactly what a group of tourism business from Perthshire discovered when they handed a particularly challenging project to test the ingenuity of the team here at Holyrood PR.

How’s this for difficult – how do you promote an event to a distinct audience, who are difficult to reach via traditional media; who are predominantly foreign; and who won’t have the chance to use the services being promoted until 2017?

Perth and Kinross Council wanted to showcase The City of Perth and Perthshire destination stand to international buyers attending the 2016 VisitScotland expo. That meant helping them to cut through ahead of the hundreds of other exhibitors taking part in Scotland’s premier business to business travel trade event.

Needless to say we came up with a solution which the client would not have thought of – and the results were impressive including:

  • Ensuring a packed diary of appointment slots at The City of Perth and Perthshire exhibition stand.
  • Interest from international buyers surpassed all expectations
  • The nine individual tourism businesses that used the stand were delighted with the response and full of praise for Perth and Kinross Council.

So how exactly did we go about making this such a success? Read on to find out more:

PART ONE: Establishing the objectives

Adventure outings in PerthshirePerth and Kinross Council’s aim was to use the VisitScotland expo to drive interest from the international travel trade industry to feature the region’s visitor attractions as essential stop-off destinations when they are planning their 2017 and 2018 tours of Scotland.

For the first time, nine of Perthshire’s most renowned destinations got together to share The City of Perth and Perthshire destination stand – meaning they wanted a return on the time, energy and resources invested in taking part.

That meant ensuring that coach operators, wholesale tourist agencies and other key buyers who were attending the expo not only knew about the stand – but actually booked appointments with the nine destinations to discuss potential tours.

PART TWO: Agreeing the tactics

Perthshire's tourism attractionsWe believe that stories are at the heart of every successful business, and that when those stories are well told to the right audience it makes businesss more successful while keeping the workforce happy.

So, we convinced Perth and Kinross Council that the best way to reach the buyers was with content – in the form of well told stories – that was relevant, targeted and engaging.

We contacted each of the nine attractions to seek out the best stories to bring to the attention of expo attendees. We saw no value in repeating stale content from a marketing flyer – instead we dug out real stories and also secured a range of eye catching photography for each of the attractions.

But once we had the great content, we still faced our biggest challenge – how would we get it in front of the target audience?

Indeed, despite being recognised as the finest media relations experts in Scotland, there was no obvious way of reaching such a large and diverse audience split across several European countries by traditional media.

In fact, the only asset available was a database of a few hundred emails for people who were set to attend the VisitScotland expo.

We believe in working with what you have got, so developed a strategy to create bespoke email newsletters for each of the attractions who wanted to get involved in the PR campaign – five in total – as well as a general announcement on the creation of the The City of Perth and Perthshire destination stand.

Then we used email newsletter software from MailChimp to send the content directly to the inboxes of the buyers.

Kayaking Check out our MailChimp campaign for Scotland’s New Outdoor Activity Hotspot In East Perthshire.

As added value we also forged a relationship with VisitScotland and were able to ensure all the content featured in the Press section of the VisitScotland expo website.

That was a further boost for the Perthshire businesses, making sure their stories took pride of place on one of the most important web windows onto Scotland’s tourism-related businesses.

PART THREE: The Results

LOOKING ACROSS THE RIVER TUMMEL TO THE FESTIVAL THEATRE AT PITLOCHRY, A POPULAR RESORT NORTH WEST OF DUNKELD, AT DUSK, The ‘Open’ rates (people who opened and read the newsletter when it arrived in their Inbox) for each of the newsletters were way above industry averages – underlining the value of having quality content and the approach taken by Holyrood PR.

Even better, the numbers of people viewing the newsletters were further enhanced because many people on the original database list, forwarded it on to others, who also took the time to read and share the content.

In fact, the Newsletter featuring Visit EastPerthshire had around 20% more ‘Opens’, than originally targeted which means not only were people reading it – people were sharing it.

Below are details on how our open rate compared to the industry average, with unique open rate (the people who originally received it), being compared to the open rate once shared emails are taken into account.

MailChimp Open Rates Perth Travel Trade








PART FOUR: The Reaction

Perthshire's Festival Theatre in PitlochryAt Holyrood PR our target is always to surprise and delight clients and we succeeded again.

Suzanne Cumiskey of Perth and Kinross Council, provided our performance with a fitting ovation, when she said:

“Holyrood PR’s idea to focus on a newsletter idea was a real winner and has been extremely effective. It generated enquiries and I was inundated with appointment requests.

“Everybody was very happy with the display that The City of Perth and Perthshire were able to provide at this year’s VisitScotland Expo.

“It confirms the ongoing intent for The City of Perth and Perthshire to be showcased as a must-see destination for visitors to Scotland.”

Holyrood PR has an impressive record of working with Perth & Kinross Council on important projects.

Our work on promoting the City of Perth City Winter Festival was a big success, helping to bring in huge numbers of visitors and income to the area; as well as delivering on Perth & Kinross Council’s objective of being seen to support local businesses and to grow the area’s appeal to a wide audience.

Kids with giant snowflake for Perth Winter Festival luanchCheck out the gallery of images from the launch photocall, which we conceived and delivered, featuring a giant snowflake and a group of cute preschool kids.


Rigatonis restaurant helped build its repuation by working with food and drink pr expertsAnd while you’re at it, do yourself a favour and read about the hugely impressive food and drink PR project we delivered to promote the launch of the Perth Food and Drink Park 

Isn’t it time your business enjoyed this kind of hugely successful PR to deliver clever thinking to boost your results?

PR can not only deliver on your business objectives and help to grow profits or make a venture a success; it can give a massive boost to your staff.

We’d love the chance to chat with yo about the many ways powerful public relations could deliver success for you.

For more information call us on 0131 561 2244 or fill out the handy wee contact form below – and we’ll get straight back to you:

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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