Bookshop Day & Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2021

Midas delivers over 376 pieces of coverage for the annual celebration of bookshops and booksellers

The Brief

Organised by the Booksellers Association, Bookshop Day is the annual celebration of bookshops, featuring digital and in-person events, exclusives, special iniatives organised by booksellers and publishers. The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, the only book award curated by booksellers and voted-for by readers, and the shortlist is announced as part of the Bookshop Day celebrations. Bookshop Day took place on Saturday 9 October 2021, with the Readers Awards ceremony taking place a month later.

Midas was appointed to run a PR campaign to build momentum prior to and during Bookshop Day; secure coverage for the Readers Awards shortlist and winners; and create a positive narrative around bookshops post-Covid while encouraging book-lovers to shop early and local for Christmas.

The Work

Midas developed a comprehensive strategy to deliver timely PR around the key announcements, as well as implementing a targeted regional PR campaign around local bookshop activity. We secured a wide spectrum of news stories, features, round-ups and listings, spreading positive messaging about bookshops, positioning them as the champions of the high street and bucking the trend of retail closures across online, print and broadcast media.

New initiatives for 2021 included Bookshop Day’s first ever collaboration with BookTokers. Given the number of BAME authors, books and booksellers involved, we integrated Bookshop Day into the wider Black History Month narrative, securing profile interviews with Limited-Edition Books Are My Bag designer Dapo Adeola, and inclusions in Black History Month event round-ups.

At the in-person ceremony for the Readers Awards at Foyles Bookshop (the first since the pandemic), hosted by Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman, we worked with influencers Simon & Louise Savidge who produced social media content creating additional buzz around the awards.

The Results

The coverage achieved for Bookshop Day resulted in wide-reaching and diverse exposure for the campaign, with a significant increase from last year (coverage was up +183% from 2020).

Over the course of the campaign, we secured more than 376 pieces of coverage from over 280 different outlets across nationals (The Guardian, The Observer, BBC News Online, The i newspaper, The independent, Daily Mirror, Metro Scotland, The Herald, Irish Independent, RTE Online, PA Media etc.), broadcast (BBC Radio 4: You and Yours, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales, Scala Radio and 86 pieces of regional broadcast), lifestyle (Huffington Post, Stylist, Country & Town House, People’s Friend etc.), 209 pieces of regional coverage and 20 pieces of trade coverage. The total estimated circulation of the PR activity in the UK was 357,266,883 (up +831% from 2020).

Overall, we had 7 BookTokers taking part in the Bookshop Day campaign, with a combined total of 11 posts shared. The posts generated a total of 45,380 views, 8,555 likes, and 242 comments. The top ranking post from @caitlinreadsbooks generated 12.3K views, 2,479 likes, and 15 comments.