awards, public relations

Glasgow agency scoops PR Oscars

A CAMPAIGN to push home the perils of sugary drinks to youngsters has helped its creators win the top prize in the Scottish PR ‘Oscars’.

Glasgow-based 3×1 – which carried out the health promotion work for the water producer Highland Spring – was last night (Friday) named the outright winner in the Scottish PR Awards.

The awards were organised by the Institute of Public Relations in Scotland in conjunction with media magazine The Drum.

Other winners included Grampian Police for its media relations work during the trial of murderer Nat Fraser.

Financial services giant HBOS banked a clutch of top awards for its community relations work and its efforts after the merger of Bank of Scotland and Halifax. And the Scottish Qualifications Authority was named best public sector team.

There was good news too for Edinburgh Council, which won top plaudits for a fostering campaign; the local authority was also a runner-up in several categories.

Weber Shandwick – the global PR giant which looks after companies like Tesco, Fosters, Royal & Sun Alliance and Shell – was named best large consultancy.

But the biggest prize of the night went to one of the smaller operators.

The agency 3×1, based in Glasgow’s Woodside Place, scored the top prize – the “Grand Prix”. It also won the title of best small consultancy, best new start, and best consumer campaign for its work for Highland Spring.

Jane Cumming of the Institute of Public Relations in Scotland said: “The agency should be proud of its success.

“Using a borrowed laptop on a kitchen table, 3×1 founders Cameron Grant and Julie McGarvey prepared the credentials and PR proposal which won them their first client – the St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa.

“Within the first three months they had also won Highland Spring and Lees of Scotland. A clear sense of direction for future business growth is allied to a commitment to staff development. Julie and Cameron have achieved their aim of establishing a boutique Scottish PR consultancy servicing UK clients and work for household names such as Scottish Courage’s Kronenbourg 1664.

“Their work for Highland Spring was particularly impressive. They commissioned research which showed that 21 per cent of seven to ten year-olds consume ten cans of fizzy drinks a week – 70 spoonfuls of sugar. Using the media, they encouraged parents to get their children to drink more water.

“The strategy certainly worked, with the story gaining national TV, radio and newspaper coverage.”

Other winners included Grampian Police which took the top prize in the crisis management category for the way it handled intense media interest up to and during the trial of Elgin businessman Nat Fraser.

In January, Fraser was sentenced to life after being found guilty of murdering his wife Arlene. The mum-of-two went missing five years ago; her body has never been found.

As well as building up strong links with Arlene’s family, the force worked with the Crown Office to set up a website to brief journalists covering the story.

Ms Cumming said: “When Nat Fraser was found guilty of the murder of his wife Arlene, it marked the end of the most expensive, longest running and high profile criminal enquiry in Grampian Police’s history.

“Media interest was been intense and Grampian Police developed a strategy to ensure they received a positive and supportive image, irrespective of the verdict.”

Edinburgh-based 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 awards, held in Glasgow’s Radisson SAS Hotel.

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

Other Edinburgh winners announced at the ceremony included Maggie Wright, of Braid Road, who was named as the top independent consultant. The city’s Pagoda PR won best public affairs title. Meanwhile, Citigate Smarts (with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow) won best charity campaign.

The IPR also awarded a young communicator award to Linda McIntyre of Network Rail for her work highlighting the dangers of trespass and vandalism on Scotland’s train lines.

Ms Cumming added: “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.”

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 of all sizes.

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: