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Chris Fairbairn in PR Success Story

by Chris Fairbairn

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Young, gifted and back – for a sixth time in 10 years, staff from our PR agency make the grade as the hottest public relations talent under 30

PR expert with Holyrood PR analyses public relations fumbles by Newcastle Utd owner Mike AshleyWORKING in public relations – especially in an agency – can be a whirlwind.

Trust me when I say this isn’t the industry for you if you like regular routine and the easy life.

That’s why I’m honoured to have been nominated for the Young Communicator of the Year award at this year’s CIPR PRide Awards for Scotland.

It has given me a chance to reflect. From time to time it is nice to step back from the hurly burly of the day job and  look at the bigger picture.

So what have I learned and achieved in the past 20 months since joining Holyrood PR?

An Illustrious list

David Connor of PR agency Holyrood PR was named Scotland's outstanding young Communictor at the 2006 PRide PR awardsFirstly, I know I’m in good company. Holyrood PR has real pedigree in this category – as the most decorated agency in the past decade, with winners in 2006 (David Connor), 2011 (Laura Berry) and 2015 (Ross Stebbing). Not only that we’ve also been shortlisted in 2008 (Suzanne Mackie) and 2014 (Melissa Clarke).

So why has this agency been so successful in a category that recognises  personal achievement? Speaking from my own experience, Holyrood PR entrusts people to take real responsibility. To be confident in decision making, while also ensuring they feel supported. If you can embrace this, then you have the potential to go far within the firm.

From starting off as an intern, my level of responsibility has steadily increased to the stage where as an Account Manager I now lead half of all clients – including Mackie’s of Scotland, Commsworld, CALA Homes and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.

That responsibility has given me the freedom to express myself, to run with ideas and feel proud of my successes.  I’m under no illusion that exercising this responsibility led directly to my nomination.

CPD and Learning

Despite the increasing use of the digital environment, everyone keeps the habit of buying and reading the Sunday papers. Because of this we still understand the value of getting our clients mentioned in the Sunday national press.I’ve also learned that there is no substitute for learning on the job and at our agency that real, hands-on experience is prized above all else. Working with a team both senior and junior to you can provide you genuine inspiration – but just as important is celebrating our successes, owning  our mistakes, and sharing our learnings, no matter where they come from.

However, working at Holyrood PR has also helped me understand that learning takes many guises and that we should try to embrace as many of them as possible. That’s why all of us are encouraged to breaking out of the confines of the four walls. Every member of the team has an annual  training budget they are actively encouraged to spend.

It’s also why all of us are signed up to participate in the CIPR’s  continuous professional development (CPD) profgramme, which includes attending events with industry specialists, completing training exercises and meeting with high powered media figures.

PR agency continually invest to develop staffWhy Every Day is a School Day on the Quest for PR Learning at our multi-award winning public agency. Find out exactly how and why our continuous development is good for YOUR business and will make sure we deliver the result you are looking for.


Further to this, the commitment to writing blogs to dispel myths surrounding the industry and provide a commentary of topical subjects emphasises the culture of the business in a way that undoubtedly appeals to judges and something I’ve personally relished getting involved with.

I’m up against five of Scotland’s top young operators and it is a privilege to be on the same list as them. As a naturally competitive person I want to win, but if I don’t it is genuinely heartening to be in the frame.

And with that I’m heading back to the whirlwind.


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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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