PR Case Study: Clarion Communications - #VoteWallace

Picture credit: Warren Media 2018.

Clarion Communications ignited a conversation in Scotland around a national holiday to celebrate William “Braveheart” Wallace to promote the Edinburgh Dungeon’s Braveheart-themed summer show. 

Campaign: #VoteWallace
Client: Edinburgh Dungeon
PR Team: Clarion Scotland
Timing: June-July 2018
Budget: £8,500 (£5,000 agency fee and £3,500 for activity costs and administration)


To drive awareness of the Edinburgh Dungeon’s seasonal summer show, Braveheart’s Revenge, Clarion Communications tapped into the ongoing debate about who is the greatest ever Scot – and created a public facing campaign to lobby for a William Wallace national day.

The agency brought horses to a busy city centre and a rally through Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, plus a host of activities to get the people of Scotland talking.


The main objective for the campaign was to raise awareness of the show during the Dungeon’s key summer trading period (and during a saturated Edinburgh Festival market). Clarion also looked to generate positive headlines and word of mouth, while also involving the public in the movement and encouraging them to visit the Dungeon to see more.

Strategy and implementation

Initially, the agency commissioned research which found that:

  • A majority of Scots (72%), would support a day to celebrate William Wallace
  • Almost half (42%) believe he is the bravest Scot ever
  • Over a third (38%) have more of an affinity with William Wallace than St Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint

Clarion’s research showed that there was a desire from the Scottish public to celebrate a national day in honour of William Wallace, with more than a third believing he was worthier as their national hero than current patron saint, St Andrew.

Conversations with key stakeholders and MSPs also suggested a real appetite to support such a cause, illustrating that the agency would have the opportunity to tap into this natural debate and stir up conversation around it.

With Edinburgh dominated by the fringe during the summer months, the agency’s strategy was to generate consumer talk-ability and to stand out in the media.

By harnessing the public’s passion for Wallace and by providing the media with creative and newsworthy content, it could put the Dungeon on the map and drive awareness of the new show.

The results of the research were issued to the media as a news story, along with photography of Dungeon actors complete with #VoteWallace placards. The reaction saw Scots wanting to get involved in the movement, with online debates taking place across various social media platforms and blanket coverage in the Scottish national press.

The agency looked to tease the media ahead of some of the activities it had planned to ‘mobilise voters’, which included a week-long series of campaigning and petitioning in various locations throughout the country.

To maximise coverage, Clarion delivered a series of high impact photo stunts, including a march up the Royal Mile with Braveheart characters and an actor dressed as William Wallace riding a horse through Glasgow (which meant negotiating lots of red tape to allow a live animal to ride through the city centre).

“William Wallace” himself also carried out border checks on the Edinburgh tram to the airport – to the amusement of tourists to the capital.

The campaign also offered all of the 100+ residents living in any Wallace Street located across Scotland free entry to the show and issued a news story to regional and local media with details of the deal.

To cap it all, MSP for Elderslie Tom Arthur – Wallace’s place of birth – offered his support for the campaign. The agency looked to canvas the Scottish Government to explore the concept further, and indeed delve into the economic benefits it would bring to Scotland in terms of long-term public and tourism engagement.


The campaign resulted in coverage in every Scottish national newspaper bar one, widespread regional coverage around the country and social debate on various platforms.

It also achieved the goal of driving people to the Dungeon, with 57% of visitors in July citing the Braveheart show as the reason for their visit.

  • Visits to the Dungeon website were up overall by 12.31%, with new visits increasing by 15.27%
  • 76 pieces of coverage including 34 in print & 42 online
  • Started a debate on STV and Scotsman social channels, generating over 1k likes, 280 comments and 450 shares
  • The Society of William Wallace and Elderslie Community Council joined the social debate, sharing their support of the campaign to their followers
  • MSP for Elderslie (Wallace’s place of birth) took debate to cabinet secretary for Scotland and discussions are ongoing for presenting the idea to the Scottish Parliament
  • Combined reach of over 100m throughout the campaign

About Alister Houghton

Alister writes about the PR and comms industry as content marketing manager at Cision. Send press releases, interview pitches, Inside the Campaign/PR case study examples and thought leadership pieces to