Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Case Study: Man Booker Prize for Fiction
When the Man Booker Prize for Fiction changed its rules to open the prize up to more international authors, Four Colman Getty harnessed the power of vloggers and launched a series of celebrity audio podcasts to raise the profile and accessibility of the annual award.
Campaign: Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Client: Booker Prize Foundation
PR Team: Four Colman Getty
Timing: December 2014 – October 2015
Four Colman Getty has worked with the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, one of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes, for more than 20 years. FCG handles every element of the prize cycle from the submission process through to marketing and digital. From generating international media coverage to event management. Our aim each year is to keep the brand fresh and relevant.
For 2015 we had two main objectives:
- To encourage global interest and increase international media coverage, particularly in the US.
- To develop the audience demographic and build commercial consumer interest.
All elements of the campaign were geared towards achieving our objectives, emphasising the global nature and quality of the prize.
For our media strategy, we worked to encourage international coverage (with a focus on the US) by engaging London correspondents of overseas media, whilst diversifying UK coverage with more commercial targets such as lifestyle and women’s websites and red top nationals.
A rule change in 2014 opened the prize up to more international authors, so digital channels have become more important than ever to reach this global audience. We expanded our offering with two new initiatives – a vlog book club and podcast. The ‘Man Booker Vloggers’ featured five popular, literary vloggers (with over 140,000 subscribers), discussing all things Man Booker from longlist stage onwards. We also created a professionally produced series of audio podcasts, with up-and-coming BBC producer Joe Haddow hosting fortnightly episodes from longlist to winner announcement.
Our aim was to ensure the prize was presented in the most accessible way, and invited guests that would help with this. Guests included Ana Matronic, lead singer for Scissor Sisters, TV presenter Rick Edwards, David Baddiel, Jenny Éclair and Viv Groskop.
PR and digital activity was accompanied by a series of public events and, in line with our objective to target more commercial opportunities, we partnered with the Radio Times Festival for a ShortList event, and with Stylist Live. As broadcast partner to the prize, the BBC offered extensive TV, radio and online support.
The breadth of coverage for the 2015 campaign exceeded expectations, with an impressive uptake from the US.
The New York Times online, one of the most viewed English language newspaper websites in the world, followed the prize throughout the 2015 cycle.
The winner announcement led to more than 1,000 pieces of coverage with a total reach of over one billion people.
We reached our US media targets of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Washington Post and NPR. For the first time, US visitors to the Man Booker Prize website have overtaken UK visitors.
Our wider consumer focus also led to coverage on The Pool, Marie Claire and Woman & Home online, Stylist and ShortList magazines, Radio Times (achieved through the event partnerships) and the Daily Mail.
Coverage on the winner was gained in the Daily Mail, Express, Daily Mirror and The Sun newspapers, along with the quality broadsheets.
Our vlogger and podcast engagement led to an increased reach in demographic, achieving over 111K viewers in total. Our podcast series attracted almost 24,000 listens in four months, with support from the iTunes podcast team.
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