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2018 has gotten off to a great start here at Riot HQ as this week we learnt that our La Belle Sauvage launch campaign has won a PPC Quarterly Award. Not only that, but we have THREE of our campaigns shortlisted for the Annual Award.

Judge, Steven Cooper of Waterstones, said: ‘I don’t think it was guaranteed that the publication of La Belle Sauvage would be the publishing event of the year, but this publicity driven campaign made it so. Successfully rejuvenating a beloved series of books relies heavily on the sensitive balancing of the old and the new, and this campaign did that across its various strands. Alongside extensive coverage across traditional media, the campaign also sought to reach new readers with ambitious, and successful, use of social platforms, Facebook Live and influencers. The events programme, which made excellent use of limited author time, perfectly balanced the need to reach large audiences with a sensitivity, through choice of venues and interviewers, to what makes Pullman’s work so special. The lead up to publication wasn’t without its issues but this was well managed by the team of publicists, resulting in the author and his book remaining at the heart of their message. Customers responded positively, and the standout publishing moment of the year was born.’

Two of our campaigns – World Book Day and Moomins – are going head to head in the Generic category, whilst our work on Philip Pullman’s smash-hit ‘equel’ La Belle Sauvage is a contender in the Children’s category.

The winners will be announced at a dinner in London of Monday the 5th of February. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Riot Communications has been engaged to promote the second volume of the smash-hit bestseller and agenda-setting book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

The first volume – which celebrates the lives of 100 extraordinary women, providing real-life role models for girls in fairytale form – has become an international phenomenon. It was the most successful Kickstarter campaign of its kind, and has now sold over a million copies worldwide since publication last year. The LA-based authors decided to create volume two after being inundated by fans with suggestions for a second edition.

Riot Communications will promote the UK edition, published by Timbuktu Labs – the children’s digital media company created by both the two authors – on 28th February 2018, in time for International Women’s Day.

Favilli said: “Riot shares our passion for female empowerment and out-of-the-box thinking. They immediately understood that Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls is something bigger than a book and proposed a plan that is perfectly aligned with our values and our vision. We chose them after reviewing proposals from three different agencies and we can’t wait to start working with them.”

Riot Communications MD, Preena Gadher said: “We couldn’t be prouder to be working alongside Elena and Francesca, whose journey has been nothing short of inspirational. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is much more than a book: it’s a global movement for female empowerment, a sentiment that resonates strongly in our agency, so this is something of a dream project for us. Girls need exposure to positive role models in the stories they read, so for us this is more than a PR campaign: it is a moral imperative.”

For further information about the campaign contact Katy MacMillan-Scott on 020 3174 0118 / katy@riotcommunications.com

Photo credit: Anthony Upton/Photocall Productions.

Five tips for successful charity partnerships

Last week I had the huge privilege of working with the team at Oxfam to launch a new partnership between the aid and development charity and Riot client, Moomin Characters.

The partnership centres around Moomin creator Tove Jansson’s short story The Invisible Child, which is about a little girl who turns invisible after being badly treated by the woman supposedly caring for her – but reappears and regains her place in the world after being shown kindness and respect by the Moomin family. The book is on sale at Waterstones, Oxfam shops and the Moomin Shop Covent Garden with the full £4.99 price going to support Oxfam women’s projects worldwide. It has already been a huge success, with a reprint of the book being ordered just three days after the launch thanks to such high sales.

Planning the launch got me thinking about the potential pitfalls of partnerships, so here are my top five tips for making sure your charity link-ups really make a difference:

1. Authenticity.  The partnership between Moomin Characters and Oxfam came about in an organic way, and fortunately it was a very natural fit – the two organisations hold the same values of compassion, kindness, tolerance and respect for others, and the story of The Invisible Child mirrors Oxfam’s women’s projects so well. If you’re tasked with identifying potential charity partners for your clients, make sure there’s depth and logic behind your suggestions – and that you’re not just doing it because it looks good.

2. Occasion.  Partnerships such as the Moomin/Oxfam one require the generosity and hard work of a whole range of people. A launch event is a great way to not only announce your partnership to the media, but also to thank and reignite the enthusiasm of everyone who has contributed to making it a reality. We launched The Invisible Child campaign at the Finnish Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington Palace Gardens, where the Ambassador gave a speech about how the partnership was fitting given Finland has always been a leader in women’s rights (adding to the campaign narrative) and videos of Oxfam’s women’s projects were shown (reminding everyone of the reason we were there).

3. Collaboration.  PR doesn’t work in isolation, so it’s crucial to mobilise as many networks as you can to help create noise. Waterstones and Oxfam both briefed their shops to share news of the campaign across their social media channels and we were blown away by how enthusiastically they rose to the challenge with photos of the beautiful in-store displays they had created. We also worked with Moomin.com to arrange for the story to go live simultaneously in English, Finnish and Swedish across all its channels. Provide your partners and supporters with assets as early as possible so they can plan their own communications.

4. Appropriate ambassadors. Right at the beginning of the campaign we briefed Oxfam on the demographics of Moomin fans so that they could find someone from their amazing network of celebrity champions who matched that and could connect both audiences. That person was the brilliant Gemma Cairney, who spoke so passionately about her trips to visit Oxfam projects at the launch event. Gemma’s very genuine engagement with Oxfam’s work was what made her the perfect person to front the campaign. We also provided Moomin goody bags, including copies of The Invisible Child, for Oxfam’s wider network of supporters, so that they could share news of the campaign on social media. The total potential online reach of ambassador activity so far is a giant 2,343,000 people.

5. Persistence.  An essential quality for any PR person, but particularly relevant here when you’ve got a reasonable chance of being told by at least one journalist that charity partnerships are ten-a-penny. Don’t be afraid of returning to contacts you’ve already pitched to after the campaign has launched, letting them know how successful it’s been – it could be what they need to convince them to cover it. If your campaign is to run over an extended period of time, milestone announcements will help keep the partnership front of people’s minds and encourage more supporters to join the fundraising effort. As always, persistence is key!

 – Caitlin Allen, Campaigns Director

Anthony Upton 2017©

After months of planning, dedication and hard work, we are delighted to see La Belle Sauvage crash into the number one spot in the Nielsen consumer book charts.

Beating Dan Brown and Jamie Oliver in to second and third place respectively, this is Pullman’s first ever number one, and is officially the fastest selling children’s title since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Now that’s what we call a return on investment!


Campaigns Executive / Senior Campaigns Executive – permanent, based in London
Salary – £ Competitive

About Us
Riot Communications is a multi-award-winning PR agency, specialising in culture and entertainment. Clients include: Moomins; Penguin Random House; Bloomsbury; Mammoth Screen; Luna Cinema; Gutsy Animations, William Hill; Book Trust; Arts Council England; and The Royal Society.

We are looking for an exceptional and experienced Campaigns Executive / Senior Campaigns Executive to join our energetic team.

About the role
You will be responsible for creating and implementing PR campaigns that are in line with our agency ethos: intelligent, passionate, collaborative, and disruptive.

Key Responsibilities:
• Implementing campaigns both independently and as part of a team
• Liaising directly with clients and talent
• Attending regular journalist meetings and growing your contacts book
• Managing budgets
• Organising and implementing events
• Participating in new business activities
• Managing personal and campaign administration

About you:
• Be a proactive self-starter – you’ll be personally motivated and get things done before being asked
• Have excellent attention to detail
• Be an exceptional communicator in all mediums – writing clear, creative copy is essential as is a natural social ability on the phone and in person
• Be super-organised
• Be curious – you will go out of your way to discover new things, and will be eager to question and to learn
• Be imaginative and thoughtful – your approach to work will be considered, and you will think about things laterally
• Be able to work independently and as part of a small organisation that places team-work at the heart of the business

Essential Criteria:
• Minimum 2-3 years of solid publicity experience either in-house or at an agency
• A passion for culture and entertainment
• Event organisation skills
• Demonstrable experience of creative digital PR

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. Please apply in writing to info@riotcommunications.com with a CV and a covering letter explaining why you should be our next employee, including your current salary and notice period. Only candidates invited to interview will receive a reply. Deadline for applications is 10am, Monday 30th October.