awards, public relations, public sector

HBOS banks PR awards

FINANCIAL services giant HBOS has banked a clutch of awards for its in-house public relations team.

The Edinburgh-based institution took four top honours in the Scottish PR Awards tonight (Friday, June 13). The event was organised by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) in conjunction with the media magazine, The Drum.

HBOS – formed through the merger of Halifax and the Bank of Scotland – won best in-house team, best financial communications campaign and the corporate social responsibility title in the industry “oscars”.

It also shared joint-first place with Edinburgh City Council for the best community campaign.

Other capital winners announced at the ceremony in Glasgow included Maggie Wright, of Braid Road, who was named as the top independent consultant.

Edinburgh’s Pagoda PR won best public affairs title. Meanwhile, Citigate Smarts (with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow) won best charity campaign and Weber Shandwick took the title of best large consultancy.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority, which has a base in Dalkeith, took the prize for best public sector PR team.

Outwith the Lothians, Grampian Police won the best crisis management title for its media work during the trial of Nat Fraser, convicted earlier this year for the murder of his wife Arlene.

Glasgow start-up 3×1 took the overall prize on the night for its work promoting the dangers of fizzy drinks to children. It also won best new start, best consumer campaign, and best small consultancy.

Jane Cumming, the chair of the IPR in Scotland, said: “PR in Scotland is not an industry of spin doctors or press agents – or even people like Max Clifford. It’s a mature profession, made up of expert communicators, who day in and day out demonstrate their worth to their employers and their clients. The IPR would like to congratulate all the winners on their hard work – and their success in the awards.”

She said the entries from HBOS were particularly impressive.

“The bank worked closely with community representatives in Wester Hailes to reverse the number of people living there without a bank account. At one point, the figure was three times the UK average.

“The resulting campaign has been hailed as an example of best practice by politicians, academics and bankers alike. We had no hesitation awarding it the top prize in our corporate social responsibility and community campaign sections.

“The bank also won the award for best in-house team and best financial communications for the way it handled the merger between the Bank of Scotland and Halifax.

“A confidential survey of journalists showed HBOS was rated top for press relations, and was particularly effective dealing with media inquiries and newsworthy stories.”

Ms Cumming also had praise for City of Edinburgh Council. The local authority won a joint-first place in the best community campaign, by working with the media to increase the numbers of foster parents. The council also took a runners-up slot in the same section for an educational initiative.

It also earned bronze awards in the crisis management section (for its PR work after the Cowgate fire) and for its in-house team.

Jane said: “The Council’s communications team provide a wide range of services including media management, internal communications, graphic design, advertising and sponsorship.

“Creativity is maintained by sharing examples of best practice and encouraging training. It’s an approach that has clearly paid off judging by the quality and diversity of the material produced.”

The winners and runners-up in this year’s awards covered every part of the PR industry, with nominees ranging from in-house communications teams and public bodies, to freelancers and consultancies.

Judges looked for communicators who planned and researched successful PR campaigns – measuring their effectiveness with proven evaluation techniques. The full list of winners is as follows:

Grand Prix

Hamp Hamilton Young Communicator Award
WINNER: Linda McIntyre, Network Rail, Glasgow
SILVER: Sarah Forbes, Citigate Smarts
BRONZE: Hannah Sanderson, Countrywide Porter Novelli
BRONZE: Katy Windsor, Firefly

Best In-House Team
WINNER: HBOS, Edinburgh
BRONZE: Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board
BRONZE: Scottish Power plc
BRONZE: Scottish Qualifications Authority

Best Large Consultancy
WINNER: Weber Shandwick, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh
SILVER: Citigate Smarts
BRONZE: Pagoda Public Relations

Best Small Consultancy
WINNER: 3×1, Glasgow
SILVER: Artisan PR
BRONZE: Great Circle Communications Ltd

Best Independent Practitioner
WINNER: Maggie Wright Associates, Edinburgh
SILVER: Hot Tin Roof

Best Public Sector Team
WINNER: Scottish Qualifications Authority
SILVER: Glasgow City Council
BRONZE: The City of Edinburgh Council

Best Business-to-Business Campaign
WINNER: Seafish Industry Authority – Seafood Week 2002 (Weber Shandwick)
SILVER: SGM Group – From the Leading Edge to the Cutting Edge (Budge PR)
BRONZE: Baker Tilly – Adding Up to Success (Countrywide Porter Novelli)
BRONZE: UNIPASS – Beating the Log On Blues (Firefly)

Best Consumer Campaign
WINNER: A Spoonful of Sugar? – Highland Spring (3×1)
SILVER: How Much Is Too Much? – Scottish Executive (Budge PR)
SILVER: Bank of Scotland Commonwealth Games Team (Carnegie Worldwide)
BRONZE: Whyte and Mackay/West End Festival (Harrison Cowley)
BRONZE: The Falkirk Wheel (Wave PR)

Best Charity Campaign
WINNER: See Me Campaign Launch (Citigate Smarts)
SILVER: Self Monitoring Anti-coagulation Strips (Pagoda PR)

Best Community Campaign
JOINT-WINNER: We wait and we wait – fostering campaign (City of Edinburgh Council)
JOINT-WINNER: Bank of Scotland Community Banking (HBOS)
SILVER: GO4IT (City of Edinburgh Council)
BRONZE: Mental Health Month Campaign (Grampian NHS)
BRONZE: Art in Partnership/Scottish Parliament (MEA Public Relations)

Public Affairs Campaign
WINNER: Self Monitoring Anti-coagulation Strips (Pagoda Public Relations, Edinburgh)
BRONZE: Bridging the Cultural Divide (Countrywide Porter Novelli)
BRONZE: NESTRANS (Weber Shandwick Scotland)

Corporate Social Responsibility
WINNER: Bank of Scotland Community Banking (HBOS)

Best Financial Communications Campaign
WINNER: Selling the Merger (HBOS)

Best Crisis Management Campaign.
WINNER: Nat Fraser Trial (Grampian Police)
SILVER: Operation Fresco in Scotland (A Joint Armed Forces/MOD PR Team)
SILVER: Cowgate Fire (Edinburgh Council)
BRONZE: Maintaining Scotland’s Trunk Roads (hatch-group working for BEAR Scotland)

Best New Start.
WINNER: 3×1, Glasgow
BRONZE: hatch-group, Glasgow and Edinburgh


Judges comments on all the shortlisted entries are available on this website. Click here to view the page

The winners were announced at a ceremony in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Glasgow on Friday, June 13.

The judges were:
•Gidon Freeman, deputy editor, PR Week
•Lindsay McGarvie, political editor, Sunday Mail
•Paul Geoghan, chief press officer, Scottish Executive
•Jane Cumming, chair, IPR Scotland
•Richard Draycott, editor, The Drum
•Julia Newton, co-founder, Shine Communications
•Atholl Duncan, then managing editor, News & Current Affairs, BBC Scotland

The Institute of Public Relations has over 7,000 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry. It is the largest professional body of its type in Europe, with rigorous qualifications for membership (based on educational qualifications and/or multi-disciplinary experience) ensuring that standards are high and maintained. Further information on the IPR can be obtained from the IPR website at or by calling 020 7253 5151.

The Drum is Scotland’s media and marketing magazine – covering the latest developments in Scottish above and below-the-line advertising, design, PR, media and new media. For more information, log onto

Issued by THEPRSTORE on behalf of the Institute of Public Relations in Scotland. Please note that because of The PR Store’s involvement in the awards, it did not enter this year’s contest.

For more information, please contact:

Jane Cumming, Chair, IPR Scotland,
T: 01463 783018
M: 07900 917142

Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store
T: 07967 150560 E: