Grace French

During lockdown, the power of a book is even more profound

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In our second year working with the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction, we’ve found ourselves pitching the story to the press in amongst an incredibly unpredictable and competitive media landscape. Headlines are rightfully dominated by news around the ever-evolving coronavirus pandemic, and media outlets are increasingly offering support and guidance to the public on how to navigate our temporary ‘new normal’.

In this astounding landscape we find ourselves in, more and more people in lockdown are turning to the power of a book for comfort, escapism, and inspiration. Our strategic thought for the Women’s Prize for Fiction focuses on communicating how books written by women are for everyone, so we knew that this year more than ever, it was vital for these fantastic books to reach as many people as possible.

We announced the 2020 shortlist on 21st April, in the Prize’s 25th anniversary year. We were determined to cut through the noise with a quality and diverse list of books that readers could truly benefit from during this challenging time. With a digital shortlist announcement taking the place of an event due to the lockdown, we changed tack and left no stone unturned during our media sell in. We developed and shared a visually rich media package and offered in-depth interviews with chair of Judges Martha Lane Fox, and with the shortlisted authors.

The moment Martha Lane Fox took to twitter to announce the shortlist in a video broadcast, the shortlist was discussed in detail on BBC Front Row. The launch secured over 311 dedicated hits across broadcast, print and online including 23 national, 12 consumer and 263 regional – and counting. Achieving our strategic goal of reaching new audiences, we secured numerous hits in new publications for the Prize including The Sun and SheerLuxe..

With the winner’s announcement rescheduled till 9thSeptember, we’ll be spending the next few months amplifying the shortlist – and curled up on our sofas working our way through the books ourselves!

The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 shortlist:

  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
Grace French

Breaking the taboo with the launch of a new helpline

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Being a victim of a fraud or a scam isn’t the easiest topic to tackle – no one likes thinking that they might have done something ‘wrong’ or been ‘caught out’. Which is why we jumped at the opportunity to support the launch of a new service to make having these conversations easier, and to break the taboo around what is the most common crime in England and Wales.

To launch the Reassura helpline, we developed an integrated PR, social and digital campaign around the concept of breaking the taboo when it comes to talking about fraud and scams. Everyone has a story to tell – so why aren’t people doing so? And what is the impact of this silence?

Read more “Breaking the taboo with the launch of a new helpline”

Grace French

Disruptor brands – an industry challenge or an opportunity?

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Recently an article by Ian Griggs in PR Week caught my eye. It was about challenger brands being considered the biggest potential ‘crises’ in the eyes of established players. I, and several of those quoted in the article, thought it was a bit strong to label market disruption a crisis. Jim Hawker’s comments resonated the strongest with me, saying that “the best way to respond is to innovate today rather than scramble to respond tomorrow”.

Read more “Disruptor brands – an industry challenge or an opportunity?”

Grace French

Changing behaviour? It’s all in the mind

Posted by Grace French

This week I’m attending Ecobuild, the sustainable design, construction and energy event and a quick look at the conference programme got me thinking. There’s an intriguing session called ‘Unlocking environmentally responsible behaviour – can mindfulness help us make the change?’ I’m by no means a mindfulness expert but my understanding is that it’s a technique to improve life through increased awareness of the here and now. Could a more ‘in the moment’ appreciation of our world help promote less environmentally damaging behaviour? And if so, could mindfulness be a useful tool for wider communications and campaigning? Read more “Changing behaviour? It’s all in the mind”