Our call to arms helped build an army of tech experts

The Brief

The Scottish Tech Army was founded at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to harness the experience of furloughed or unemployed tech sector experts to support public sector organisations with important digital projects. Hot Tin Roof supported the organisation pro bono with the objective of launching this initiative into the public domain and boosting volunteer numbers.

woman with laptop sitting on ground working, with a golden retrierver in the foreground sleeping

Our Strategy

Hot Tin Roof developed an extensive media campaign targeting key publications in the Scottish tech sector and national press. Amid lockdowns and working remotely, we crafted an inspirational call to action. We equipped spokespeople with everything they needed to confidently liaise with the media on sensitive issues related to Covid-19.


We helped mobilise volunteers from Scotland’s tech industries to support rapid digital transformation during the pandemic. Our coverage helped to recruit 100 volunteers in 12 hours, 700 in the first month, and an incredible 1,000 in three months!

We generated 80 pieces of coverage in six months. This included BBC Online, The Guardian, Bauer Radio, Good Morning Scotland (twice).

We also launched the world’s first ‘sonification of Covid data’ allowing the blind to hear infection graphs. Co-founders Alistair Forbes and Peter Jaco were both awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) ‘for services to charity during the Covid-19 response’, and were able to build a significant network of high-profile connections. The STA also received funding to continue its important work.


“HTR played a key role establishing visibility for STA. They planned a highly effective media campaign, driving initial awareness at launch. They secured broad coverage in business and technical media, which played a big part in achieving very rapid recruitment of volunteers and raising awareness amongst the organisations we set out to help. We really appreciated the consistent quality of HTR’s work and their unfailing enthusiasm and commitment.”

Alistair Forbes, Founding Director of the Scottish Tech Army

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