Public Sector: Assembly Rooms restored to past glory

Edinburgh venue the Assembly Rooms had been undergoing major refurbishment for 18 months. It hired CM Porter Novelli to publicise its reopening in July.

Assembly Rooms: Ready for relaunch
Assembly Rooms: Ready for relaunch

Campaign: Restoring an icon: Assembly Rooms Edinburgh reopens
Client: Assembly Rooms, City of Edinburgh Council
PR team: CM Porter Novelli, Edinburgh
Timescale: February-August 2012
Budget: £15,000



  •  To build public excitement in the run-up to the opening and generate bookings.

Strategy and Plan

The strategy was to keep changes to the venue a secret until launch. The PR team released a teaser shot of the venue on social media to build anticipation in the run-up to the launch. It supplied long-lead media with information about the venue's social history, the refurbishment project and pictures of what it would look like once completed for post-launch editions. Trusted contacts on newspapers and at broadcast media were invited to take footage of the venue for use under embargo.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated more than 100 pieces of coverage including on BBC Scotland and in The Times.


The social media campaign generated 1,000 new followers on Twitter and 300 likes on Facebook. By the time of opening, bookings had already been taken until early 2013, with enquiries increasing by 30 per cent.

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