PR team praised for client support during Big Freeze

ONE of Scotland’s top PR agencies has been commended for performing above the call of duty during the recent severe winter weather, by one of its clients: Scottish Water.

During the five days alone between Christmas Eve and December 29, Scottish Water’s call centre took 26,000 calls – four times the normal level. And PR agency, Edinburgh-based Holyrood Partnership, pulled out all the stops, as did Scottish Water’s own staff, who voluntarily gave up family holidays and worked round-the-clock with on-call colleagues in the field and in the call centres.

Holyrood Partnership director, Scott Douglas, told “We were supporting a team working on an ongoing basis. That meant giving up precious holiday time and rolling up our sleeves at the drop of a hat. That crisis was the toughest we’ve ever seen.”

The challenge included working 12-hour shifts and handling hundreds of media enquiries. The Scottish Water and Scottish Government websites required to be constantly updated, plus local authorities, businesses and call centre managers kept informed of developments.

In a statement issued by Holyrood Partnership, co-director, Raymond Notarangelo, is quoted, saying: “The effort put in behind the scenes by Scottish Water staff was monumental. However, the scrutiny of the media often ignores this and coverage can seem harsh. So it was important the PR team helped maintain morale by ensuring positive stories came out about the workforce’s commitment to the cause.”

Added Douglas: “Scottish Water is one of our longest-standing and most valued clients. There was no question that we’d respond to an emergency request to step up to help out with crisis communications support.

“The reality is that crises never happen at a convenient time and we relish this kind of work. With a long-term client it can actually be useful to demonstrate there is no hint of complacency or fading commitment.”

Said Chris Wallace, Scottish Water’s director of communications: “The water industry is big, complex and totally vital to every day life, so it is crucial we communicate clearly and well about our work with customers, the media and the people of Scotland in all walks of life.

“The team at Holyrood Partnership have proved their importance to us, in terms of crisis support, time after time since Scottish Water was formed. Their recent contribution during the big freeze shows exactly why they are such an invaluable addition to our communication team.”