Riot Communications secures Blueprint status for another two years

Riot Communications, the leading PR agency specialising in arts, culture and entertainment, has retained full Blueprint status in the latest round of reapplications.

The Blueprint diversity mark aims to promote racial diversity in PR and communications. Awarded agencies sign up to a series of commitments aimed at encouraging diversity from entry level to boardroom, from staff culture to recruitment and retention. They must reapply every two years, to ensure continued best practice and commitment.

Riot first secured full Blueprint status in January 2022, only the sixth PR agency in the UK to do so, as well as being the smallest and the only one specialising in arts, culture and entertainment.

The announcement today comes following a rigorous reapplication process in December 2023, which detailed how Riot had fulfilled the Blueprint commitments over the previous two years. Following assessment from an independent panel of judges, the agency has been re-awarded the full mark for its continued commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, and for providing solid examples of meeting and going beyond the Blueprint commitments. Furthermore, the agency impressed the judges with the level of detail and transparency in supporting documents that proved DEI remains at the heart of the agency.

Elizabeth Bananuka, Founder, BME PR Pros; Founder/CEO Blueprinted, said: “In the midst of so many negative reports about DEI initiatives, it is incredibly warming to reward Riot Communications full Blueprint status. The agency’s reapplication form accompanied by an extensive number of supporting materials highlighted leaders Caitlin Allen and Katy MacMillan-Scott’s strong commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion, and to maintaining the unique, inclusive culture the agency is famed for. Despite being one of the smallest agencies to secure full Blueprint status, the tiny agency has continued to make big DEI moves even in the midst of significant business changes. When Riot Communications first applied in 2022 they set the benchmark for small agencies. In 2024 they set the benchmark for a leadership truly committed to DEI. The Blueprint judges and I congratulate Riot Communications for retaining full Blueprint status and for their unwavering and admirable commitment to The Blueprint.”

Caitlin Allen, MD, Riot Communications, said: “In the two years since we first became Blueprinted, we have gained so much from the ongoing learning opportunities, the tailored action plans, and the community of like-minded agencies that Elizabeth has created. Being worthy of retaining this high benchmark has stretched us as an agency and challenged us as a leadership team, in the best possible way. It holds us accountable, daily, to be the very best we can be. We are incredibly grateful to Elizabeth, the wider Blueprint team, and our fellow Blueprinted agencies, who have shown us such generosity and support along the way. It is an exceptional group to be a part of.”

Q&A with Riot’s new Intern, Jules Barretto

Jules joined Riot in September and has embedded himself into the team with his infectious enthusiasm and passion for the work that we do. A recent Film & English graduate, Jules is the first to take up Riot’s new six-month internship programme. We’ve been impressed by his brilliant social media management and people skills, and we can’t wait to see his PR career take off.

Want to get to know him a bit better? We’ve asked him to share a bit about some of his passions and the things he is most looking forward to about working at Riot.

What are you most excited about when it comes to joining Riot?

I’m really excited to be working with like-minded people who share the same passion for arts, culture and entertainment. It’s amazing to be surrounded by such a skilled and talented team, learning as much as I can from them and being able to use what they’ve taught me to support a wide range of clients in the arts.

With no limitations in place, who would be your dream client?

My dream client would be Studio Ghibli. Watching Ghibli films as a kid was what drew me into film; I even wrote my dissertation on anime and Ghibli movies. I would love to work on Miyazaki’s next film in any capacity. I still haven’t gotten around to seeing the live theatre productions of My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away, but I would love to help others discover these amazing worlds and characters.

What was the first book that you fell in love with?

The first book that I really fell in love with was Stephen King’s The Shining. I was thrilled reading and watching horror films that I knew I shouldn’t have been watching as a kid. I used to read Goosebumps and Darren Shan books, but I never really felt scared until I read The Shining. I became addicted to reading books that evoked that sort of visceral feeling, not necessarily just fear, but also wonder and amazement etc. I still enjoy reading King and horror books today.

What are some of your other passions?

I love lifting weights and kickboxing. I grew up watching so many action and martial arts films, but I never worked up the courage to take lessons. It was only when I got into university that I decided to join the kickboxing society and became obsessed with the sport and working out. I’m constantly trying to test the full limits of my body and push myself to go further. I haven’t been able to practise as frequently lately, so I hope I can still touch my toes.

Q&A with Riot’s new Campaigns Executive, Ruby Fitzgerald

Ruby joined us in October and has already taken settled in and done some amazing work with influencers for the Royal Institution and supporting the Nero Book Awards team to roll out social media content. Ruby’s background in comms is within the charity and education sector, but her passion has always been arts and culture. Alongside her previous role, Ruby provided freelance publicity and social media support to her local literary festival in Kent. She brings with her a brilliant set of skills alongside a deep passion for arts, culture and entertainment, and we’re so pleased to have her on the team. 

Want to get to know her a bit better? We’ve asked her to share a bit about some of her passions and the things she is most looking forward to about working at Riot.

What are you most excited about when it comes to joining Riot?

I’m really excited to be working in the arts and culture space, which has been my goal for a few years now. Riot has such a wide range of great clients so I feel really lucky to be involved. The work itself is creative and I never get bored!

With no limitations in place, who would be your dream client?

My dream client would be the National Theatre. Since moving to London, I’ve got really into going to the theatre and the NT offers £10 tickets if you’re aged 25 and under, which I’ve been making good use of. My favourite show this year has been The Effect, it was completely engrossing and I felt emotionally drained at the end of the show – in a good way! 

My all-time favourite author is Haruki Murakami so he would be another dream client. He’s already got a huge readership but I’d love to introduce his work to even more people. 

What was the first book that you fell in love with?

Speaking of Murakami, Kafka on the Shore was probably the first book I fell in love with as an adult. I remember being so absorbed in its surreal world that I skipped a night out on my post-A-Levels girls’ holiday to stay in and read. When my friends got back at 4am, I was still awake and on the final chapter!

As a child, I read a lot of different books but I do remember writing fan mail to Francesca Child who wrote the Horrid Henry series. I’ve always loved naughty characters like Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace.

What are some of your other passions?

I’ve really been into yoga for the past few years. I have dyspraxia and struggle with sport but yoga has improved my coordination and strength so much. I thought I hated all exercise because I couldn’t catch a ball and was always the last one picked for the team in PE, but it turns out I just hadn’t found my niche yet!


Q&A with Riot’s new Campaigns Manager, Sofia Saghir

Sofia joined the team this autumn, and has brought with her a myriad of skills and a wealth of experience from her previous roles at publishing house HarperCollins and PR agency Midas. Having been nominated for two PPC awards in addition to working on a range of exciting projects, we’re so excited to have Sofia as part of the Riot team. 

Want to get to know her a bit better? We’ve asked her to share a bit about some of her passions and the things she is most looking forward to about working at Riot.

What are you most excited about when it comes to joining Riot?

I am really excited to be working across a variety of different clients in the arts and culture space and expanding my PR knowledge. Everyone in this team is incredibly creative and passionate and I can’t wait to soak up all of their knowledge and expertise.

With no limitations in place, who would be your dream client?

As a huge fan of Bollywood, I’d love to work with some of the biggest production companies in India to help promote their films to UK audiences. There is a growing market for foreign cinema in Western countries and I’d love to help introduce new viewers to the films and actors I’ve grown up on. I am particularly a massive fan of the legend himself, Shah Rukh Khan, so working alongside his company would be an absolute dream come true and a massive honour.

What was the first book that you fell in love with?

 I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the first book was that I loved, but one of the earliest memories of reading I have is a book called Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman. I picked this book up at a Scholastic Book Fair when I was young, knowing absolutely nothing about it but I was completely blown away. It is a story told entirely in verse about the friendship between two young boys and I thought it was so beautiful. I still have my very tattered copy from that book fair which is now signed and personalised by Malorie so it’s a prized possession!

What are some of your other passions?

Alongside reading, I am also a huge musical theatre fan. There is nothing I love more than spending a Saturday evening in the theatre watching a musical. My absolute favourites are SixLegally BlondeIn The Heights and, of course, Hamilton. Outside of the cultural space, I’ve recently been learning to swim for the first time. I’ve become passionate about the power of swimming as well as the importance of learning something new as an adult. Throwing myself into swimming classes has really changed my mental health for the better.

Riot announces a raft of promotions and new hires after successful first year under new leadership

Riot Communications, the award-winning PR agency specialising in arts, culture and entertainment, has announced a raft of promotions and new hires within its campaigns team a year after coming under the leadership of new MD Caitlin Allen.

This autumn, Riot welcomed three new members of staff in Sofia Saghir (Campaigns Manager), Ruby Fitzgerald (Campaigns Executive) and Jules Baretto (Intern). A former book reviewer turned culture publicist, Saghir joins Riot following roles at publishing house HarperCollins, where she looked after authors including Mark Lawrence and Sally Page, and PR agency Midas, where she worked on campaigns for the London Book Fair and Fitzgerald has moved from a communications role in the charity and education sector to work in her area of passion, arts and culture. She brings with her a strong background in social media and digital marketing alongside experience developing media campaigns around education inequality. Baretto becomes the first to take up Riot’s new six-month internship programme, after recently graduating in Film and English from the University of Southampton.

Meanwhile, two members of the existing team have had promotions. Emily Souders, who celebrated five years at Riot in August 2023, has been promoted to Campaigns Director. Souders – whose clients range from family-focused brand Moomin Characters and the Royal Institution, the independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science, to publisher Pan Macmillan – is known across the industry for the strength of her client relationships and creativity. Following the change of leadership at Riot, she – alongside fellow Campaigns Director James Douglas – has stepped up to take the lead on several key accounts. Niamh Houston, who joined Riot in August 2022, has been promoted to Senior Campaigns Executive. Putting her experience as a print journalist to brilliant use, she continues to find innovative ways to deliver media coverage and influencer engagement for clients including the London Review of Books and the Science Museum Group.

These promotions and new hires follow a strong year for the agency, which continues to grow its offering across the entertainment space. In addition to delivering a series of bestsellers for authors including Jeremy Deller (Art is Magic), Susie Dent (Roots of Happiness) and Ian Rankin (The Rise), 2023 saw the agency deliver a series of firsts. Highlights include: the co-founding and launching of the Nero Book Awards on behalf of Caffè Nero; the launch of the Science Museum Group’s Flying Scotsman VR experience; the launch of a collaboration between Oscar-winning animation studio Aardman and Save the Children, which raised awareness of the experience of refugee children, and publicity campaigns for a number of exciting independent films such as I am Urban starring Richard Armitage and Anna Friel and The Undertaker starring Paul McGann and Tara Fitzgerald.

Caitlin Allen, Riot MD, comments: “It is so exciting to be making these new hires and promotions one year into our journey as Riot 2.0. It’s been a huge year in terms of work, from launching the Nero Book Awards – which have been so well received by the industry and the media – to getting to collaborate with some of the most brilliant writers, artists and illustrators out there. We’re so grateful to all the clients, contacts and partners who have worked with us in the past twelve months or so, and looking forward to another big year in 2024. Watch this space!”



Image 1 (left to right) – Ruby Fitzgerald, Sofia Saghir and Jules Barretto

Image 2 (left to right) – Niamh Houston and Emily Souders

Ask the Expert: Jeroen van Dijk

Jeroen van Dijk

Ask the Expert is Riot’s monthly interview slot where we chat with people we admire working in the world of arts, culture and entertainment.

Today we’re speaking with Jeroen van Dijk. Jeroen joined the Royal College of Art as Marketing Manager in 2022 and supports with external and on-campus events both in London and across the globe. He is an architectural history and heritage professional whose research centres on LGBTQ+ perspectives on the built environment. He has researched queer heritage in London and Amsterdam, focusing on queer memorials and nightlife.

Describe your job in one sentence.

As Marketing Manager at the Royal College of Art I support incoming students on their journey before joining us – from sharing news about the College and our work during their initial stages of researching MA study, helping out with their application, organising Open Days and international events, and keeping them up to date prior to them coming through the doors in September.

You’ve always managed to merge your passions with your work. What was it about the role at RCA that drew you in specifically?

I’ve always worked in the creative sector following my BA in Art History and MA in Arts Management – this job at the RCA allowed me to engage with the art and design of the future. I work with our students every day and it’s truly exciting to learn so much about their groundbreaking work and research – playing a part in their journey to change the world or develop their creative practice is incredibly rewarding.

What are your top three tips for people looking to find a way to merge their passion for the arts and a sustainable career?

The creative industries are driven by people united through their passion for the arts. 1) Find your niche – what is it you are most interested and passionate about? The sector is incredibly varied yet also offers endless opportunities to move from one job role into the other. Are you most passionate about research, education, museums and exhibitions, contemporary art, literature, commercial art galleries? 2) Build your network – engage with the sector, visit shows, exhibitions, talk to the experts. Learn more about what’s going in within your niche and find out how to get involved. 3) Use your transferable skills. Identify where your skills are and apply them to your niche – do you like sharing stories through social media, curate a programme of events, teach audiences about objects and collections or identify partnerships and funding opportunities? Identify how you could fit in an organisation and how best to use your skills.

How do you see the relationship between marketing and other comms (PR, advertising etc)?

I see communications and marketing as a field that only works together if all strands (content, PR, marketing, advertising) are connected. At the end of the day we are sharing stories to audiences, and the communications outputs amplify the reasons we are sharing them, whether we are selling a programme, event, raising our organisation’s profile or announcing a news story.

If someone only had one day in London, what is the cultural place you would tell them to visit and why?

One of my favourite places in London is the Zabludowicz Collection in Kentish Town. It programmes a few free exhibitions a year in a beautiful former Methodist Chapel. They offer a varied programme of self-initiated group and solo exhibitions, commissions and residencies, drawing on works from the collection or new commissions, often engaging with digital media, performance and AR/VR technologies. The Rachel Maclean solo exhibition in 2018 was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in London.

What has been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career so far?

Earlier this year I got to travel to New York to meet with prospective students and visit other art and design universities, including the Rhode Island School of Design. It was amazing to talk to prospective students abroad and learn more about the reasons why they decide to come study in the UK, as well as being able to see behind the scenes at other world-leading institutions.

Which project are you most excited to work on in the next six months?

This year will be my second year in Higher Education and I’m very much looking forward to the new cohort joining us in September – it’s incredibly exciting to meet new students, learn about their drivers on pursuing a postgraduate degree and learn more about their work and creative practice. I manage the College’s Student Ambassadors and can’t wait to start building a new community of student representatives.

What’s on your radar? Could you share what you’re listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately and have been absolutely enthralled by Douglas Stuart’s novels. His Shuggie Bain and Young Mungo are beautiful accounts of growing up gay and working class, and despite differences in environment and time (Glasgow in the 80s and 90s as opposed to the Dutch countryside in the naughties and 2010s) it offers so much I can relate to directly. By chance he’s also an RCA alumnus, as he graduated from the MA Fashion programme in 2000.

Riot Communications joins Aardman & Whizz-Kids on epic art adventure

Morph scultures by the Southbank © Andy Newbold Photography

Each year, Riot delivers a pro-bono PR campaign alongside our regular client work. It might be for a charity that helps inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities (such as The Girls Network) or one that celebrates the contributions of Caribbean individuals to British society (such as the WGLA). Either way, it allows us the opportunity to work with a variety of organisations that we feel passionate about.

In 2023, Team Riot had the opportunity to work with Whizz Kidz, the leading UK charity for young wheelchair users, on a really special brand collaboration with our longstanding client, Aardman. As soon as we heard about the campaign we knew it was one we wanted to support.

Whizz Kidz’s vision is to create a society in which every young wheelchair user is mobile, enabled and included. Inspired by the childhood favourite, Morph’s Epic Art Adventure is an art trail featuring 50 Morph sculptures designed by a range of artists and celebrities including Tom Fletcher, Ade Adepitan and Martin Dougan. It’s London’s first ever step-free art trail and – as well as providing a step-free, family-friendly jaunt around the city’s famous landmarks – has been designed to prompt conversations about diversity and inclusion for wheelchair users.

Having handled Aardman’s corporate communications since 2019, we had the advantage of knowing the brand inside out, so we were ready to hit the ground running. In the run-up to launch last month, we worked closely with the Whizz Kidz in-house PR team to secure national and London-specific coverage and to provide hands-on support at a special launch event for the artists – see here for a little snippet from the event, featuring Sarah Pugh, Chief Executive at Whizz Kidz.

We were delighted to have contributed to the campaign by securing coverage on BBC One – Breakfast, BBC Radio London – Carrie and David Grant and ITV London. Additionally, we ensured that the trail was featured within listings slots including Secret London, The Week Junior and Kidscreen, amongst others.

This project perfectly aligned with our mission to champion the value of arts, culture and entertainment. Like Whizz Kidz, we fully believe in the power of art to bring about positive change. If you’re in London over the summer, we highly recommend you get involved! Morph’s Epic Art Adventure runs in London until 20th August. To read more about the trail and to plan your visit, head to:

Images © Andy Newbold Photography.

The Morphs in the image were created by artists Lynne Hollingsworth, Amanda Quellin, Jason Wilsher-Mills and Olaf Falafel.

Ask the Expert: Shannon St. Luce

Shannon St. Luce ask the expert

Ask the Expert is Riot’s monthly interview slot where we chat with people we admire working in the world of arts, culture and entertainment.

Today we’re speaking with Shannon St Luce. Shannon has been an Event Coordinator at the BBC Proms for the past two years, whilst freelancing for the rest of the year in producer, Orchestra Manager and Arts Administration roles. We asked her how she got to where she is, her top tips for freelancers, and what the BBC Proms means today.

Describe your job in one sentence.

Co-ordinating, planning and running concerts, and liaising between all kinds of teams to make it happen.

You’ve had a range of roles within the music industry. How did you end up where you are today?

Growing up, I’d always had a strong interest in music but decided early on that I wasn’t good enough to perform, and at the time I didn’t realise that there are so many alternative roles to get into. At university I studied animation and was set on a career in that field but found it difficult to find work upon graduating. Instead, I got a job with Hertfordshire Music Service and I’m so fortunate that it was a co-ordinator role where I could really develop my skillset in the industry that I love; all my roles since draw upon things I learned in that first job. Whilst I was there I managed to get a shadowing opportunity with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; this gave me the courage to go for jobs with arts organisations where I could work with professional musicians, which is what I really wanted to do. Since then, I’m fortunate to have worked in so many great places, building up my experience and network over time.

What are your top three tips for people when it comes to event coordination?

  1. Organise and prioritise your work in a way that makes sense to you; you’re usually juggling multiple things, so refine your process so that you have a solid workflow.
  2. Try to envisage the event you’re planning before it happens, and think through what is needed to reach your final outcome. You might not think of everything (and even when my planning is seemingly flawless, a hiccup somehow arises on the day!), but knowing what you’re aiming for helps you to work out the potential kinks.
  3. Trust your process and don’t panic; in planning and in delivery things can get busy and chaotic, and I find it helps to always be the calmest person in the room.

As a freelancer, you’re often moving from working with one organisation to another. How do you establish yourself in new spaces over a short period of time?

I tend to go in with an open mind, with the initial aim being to absorb as much as I can about the job and the team. I’ve built up confidence in my own strengths over time, so that when I go into freelance/short-term roles I know what I bring to the table. For some freelance jobs I’m only there for a few days and it’s just a case of leaning on knowledge and past experience.

This is your second year returning to the BBC Proms. What are some highlights of working there for you?

Some of my earliest orchestral memories are of the Proms, so I still can’t believe that I work there! The biggest highlight for me is the added broadcasting element on top of working on a concert. My favourite part of the job is concert managing a Prom, where you take the lead in running the concert on the day alongside television and live radio broadcasts; equal parts exhilarating and terrifying!

What do you think the significance of the BBC Proms is in the UK’s current arts and culture landscape?

The Proms are so important in terms of showcasing the breadth and quality of classical and orchestral music, serving faithful followers and making it accessible to new audiences. Across the 8 week season there’s 71 concerts in London alone, and many more across the UK, all to either attend in person or catch up with on radio and TV – for me, the significance is that there’s something in there for everyone!

As a freelancer, do you have any advice for building and maintaining networks of contacts?

I think the two things that have helped me the most are doing the best job that I can, and chatting to people whenever possible. It’s hard to advise on this one because I’ve personally found that things happened organically and opportunistically, but I think if you do what you do well and try to expose yourself to different kinds of situations then gradually you will build up your network.

Biggest pinch-me moment of your career?

Definitely meeting the composer Danny Elfman last summer, whose music I’ve been listening to literally my whole life. It was only 30 seconds in the backstage corridor of the Royal Albert Hall, but I’ve got a signed programme and a photo to prove (mostly to my starstruck self) that it happened!

What’s on your radar? Could you share what you’re listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I like my own consumption to be quite chilled and familiar to counteract the noise of day-to-day life, so it’s all easy and simple stuff. Recently I’ve really enjoyed watching Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary on Disney Plus, and I religiously watch Taskmaster when it’s on. Listening-wise, I mostly have my Motown and Soul playlist on repeat, but I sift through quite a few other genres alongside that – at the moment I’m rediscovering Green Day’s earlier stuff, particularly Dookie which is the album I loved as a teen. I don’t read much but I do love a podcast; currently working through episodes of Toni and Ryan for laughs, and One of Us is a Filmmaker which taps right into my ‘90s/’00s nostalgic film memories.

Riot Communications to handle PR for newly created Nero Book Awards

nero book awards logo

Riot Communications has been hired to promote the newly created Nero Book Awards, launched today (Tuesday 23rd May 2023) by the premium coffee house, Caffè Nero.

A set of multi-category awards celebrating the craft of great writing and the joy of reading, the Nero Book Awards will point readers of all ages and interests in the direction of the best books of the year by authors living in the UK and Ireland.

Established as a not-for-profit organisation, the awards will be run and underwritten by the independent, family-owned coffee house group with support from partners The Booksellers Association, Brunel University London and Right To Dream. They will recognise outstanding books across four categories (Children’s Fiction, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction) to provide readers of all tastes with a recognisable mark of quality and readability.

The Nero Book Awards will be judged by representatives from across the world of books, who will select shortlists of four in each category, choosing the books they would most want to recommend to others.

Gareth Hopley, Head of Communications, Caffè Nero, comments:

“Caffè Nero was founded in 1997 on the principle of being a place to bring people together in a warm and welcoming environment. Our stores are filled with books, and we have a rich history of supporting the arts. These awards are the natural continuation of that, and we’re delighted to be working with entertainment specialists Riot Communications to promote them to book lovers all over the country.”

Riot Communications specialises in arts, culture and entertainment and has worked on a number of other national book awards, from the Costa Book Awards and the Desmond Elliott Prize to the Royal Society Science Book Prize and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. Its clients across the entertainment world include 4 x Oscar winning animation studio Aardman, publishing giant Penguin Random House, family brands including Moomin Characters, and cultural institutions including the Royal Institution and the Science Museum Group.

Riot has played a key role in the creation of the Nero Book Awards, bringing its knowledge of the publishing industry to ensure that the prizes will support publishers, authors and booksellers as well as helping readers to find their new favourite reads. Riot Director Katy MacMillan-Scott will sit on the Management Team of the Awards alongside Awards Director Amanda Johnson, formerly publicity and project director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and, most recently, Director of the Costa Book Awards, Alan Staton from the Booksellers Association, who will oversee the administration of the Awards, and Gareth Hopley, Head of Communications, Caffè Nero.

Katy MacMillan-Scott, Director, Riot Communications, said: “Book prizes play such a vital role in helping authors find new audiences for their work and introducing readers to titles they’re going to love. In recent years, several major book awards have come to a close, leaving a vacancy for a set of prizes that celebrate the books that we love to read, share and recommend. We’re thrilled to have played a part in the inception of these new awards, which can exist thanks to the vision of the team at Caffè Nero, and to be working with the Nero Book Awards team in this incredibly exciting inaugural year.”

The Nero Book Awards will open for entries on 19th June 2023. Category shortlists will be announced in late 2023 before four category winners and an overall winner, The Nero Book of the Year, are revealed in early 2024. Further details will be announced in due course.

The prize fund totals £50,000, with the four category winners receiving £5,000 each and the Book of the Year winner receiving an additional £30,000.

A website and social media channels have gone live today to coincide with the announcement. More details can be found via

Riot Communications works with Susie Dent on joyful campaign for Roots of Happiness

Riot x Susie Dent

Penguin Random House (PRH) Children’s has hired Riot Communications to deliver a high-impact PR campaign for a new book by bestselling author, broadcaster and word expert Susie Dent. Roots of Happiness is a joyous collection of 100 positive words and their origins, paired with beautiful illustrations by Harriet Hobday. 

It takes just a short browse through the dictionary to see how negative English can be, but Dent has searched far and wide to unearth happy and uplifting words and phrases that – in some cases – have been long forgotten, while others have only just been discovered. It’s an ideal first introduction to the joys of language and a perfect match for those looking to expand their vocabulary with some uplifting words. 

Riot will deliver a creative PR campaign for the launch of the book and lead on talent management while ensuring the book successfully finds its readers. They have previously been hired by PRH Children’s for the launch of Emma Thompson’s festive classic Jim’s Spectacular Christmas, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which was released in October 2022. 

Susie Dent is a writer and broadcaster on language. She recently celebrated 25 years as the resident word expert on C4’s Countdown, and comments regularly on TV and radio on words in the news. She has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph, and The Times; answers notes and queries about words and phrases in weekly columns on Radio Times and in The Week Junior; and is the author of several books, including her latest, Dent’s Modern Tribes

Jessica Jackson, Associate Director, Riot Communications, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with PRH Children’s once again on such a joyful and uplifting book, and can’t wait to bring it to audiences young and old. It’s the perfect gift for anyone with a curiosity in words and language.”

Rosamund Hutchison, Head of Publicity, Penguin Random House Children’s, added: “We were so impressed with Riot’s work on Jim’s Spectacular Christmas by Emma Thompson and Axel Scheffler, which was subsequently shortlisted for a PPC Award, we immediately thought of them as the perfect fit for Susie Dent’s new book. The team at Puffin is really excited to be publishing Roots of Happiness this autumn, and we know that Riot will bring their trademark energy and creativity to the campaign.”

Roots of Happiness will be released on the 5th October 2023.