HIT Scotland

Building on the legacy of Andrew Fairlie

The Challenge:

HIT Scotland was established by industry leaders in 1994, with the charity going from strength to strength over the years to support literally tens of thousands of people working and studying in the Scottish hospitality industry. It helps them to broaden their skills and experience by taking advantage of the tailored learning experiences offered through the HIT scholarship programme.

Spearheaded by HIT Scotland and supported by the First Minister, Scottish Government and Gleneagles, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship was launched in February 2019 in recognition of Andrew’s significant and lasting contribution to the hospitality industry.

The aim of the scholarship was to provide two chefs working in Scotland with the same level of inspiration and development that Andrew himself experienced as the first ever Roux Scholar when starting out in his career.

Represent was tasked with launching the scholarship and raising awareness amongst aspiring chefs working across Scotland. We have subsequently supported HIT Scotland with this scholarship every year (apart from 2020 which was cancelled due to the pandemic).

The Solution:

A media relations campaign to launch the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship, which included:

  • Four news stories including the launch of the Scholarship, the announcement of the judges, finalists reveal, and winners’ announcement. Key media targets included Scottish national and regional press, as well as key hospitality titles
  • A thought leadership campaign focused on how the hospitality industry works collaboratively to drive standards and how to advance the hospitality industry through empowerment
  • Promotion of the judges (notably top chefs Tom Kerridge, Sat Bains and Gary McLean), which included a ‘Meet the Judges’ Q&A series for the HIT Scotland website and promoted across social channels
  • A Q&A for the 6 finalists to be featured on the HIT Scotland website and across their social channels.

The Impact:

For the duration of the first 8-month project, we achieved:

  • 184 pieces of media coverage, including the front page of The Scotsman, with a total estimated reach of 7.73 million
  • Opinion pieces placed in The Herald and The Caterer
  • A total of 1,636 unique visitors to the Scholarship landing page
  • A total of 17 applications for the scholarship
  • Creation of career-changing opportunities for two young chefs with big ambitions!

In 2023, highlights included:

  • 51 pieces of national, regional and industry coverage
  • Estimated audience of 19.9 million, with an estimated 452,000 views

“Represent have been a key HIT Scotland partner, providing expert advise on how to protect and project the HIT brand. They are creative, trusted and well connected in the food & drink sector and always meet their ambitious KPIs.”

– David Cochrane, chief executive of HIT Scotland
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