Midas was hired by diverse publisher Jacaranda Books to boost the company profile and manage title PR for four key 2021 titles as well as the launch of A Quick Ting On, the first ever book series on Black British culture written by young Black Britons.
The objective of the campaign was to boost awareness of Jacaranda Books’ vital work amplifying the voices and stories of authors of colour. In terms of media targets, the team there were keen to reach out to audiences not as engaged with publishing, looking beyond traditional outlets to build relationships with those who don’t consider themselves readers.
With Jacaranda Books approaching its tenth birthday, we went out to press for interview with Valerie Brandes, the founder, using the anniversary as a hook. While we were looking to secure less traditional media for title PR, we targeted business and publishing press for opportunities with Valerie to platform her and the business as key players in the industry.
We worked with the team at Jacaranda Books to build a plan around launching A Quick Ting On, which was complicated by the story having already been shared by one national outlet before we began working on the campaign. As such, we had to balance the announcement moment, which had less impact as an already reported story, with early offering of author time for interview in order to provide more context and character to the moment.
To ensure we had as much background as possible on all title PR, we had kick-off calls with the authors of the four 2021 titles, as well as the creatives behind the A Quick Ting On series. These sessions allowed us to build tailored PR plans which reached a variety of outlets with different audiences in mind for each title campaign, ranging from history lovers to those interested in beauty and haircare.
In addition to our media outreach, we engaged festivals and events to secure sessions based around Jacaranda Books’ work to increase their profile among similar publishers. We also reached out to companies and influencers regarding potential partnerships, providing ideas for how Jacaranda Books could work alongside their own messaging to engage audiences beyond traditional readers.
As a result of our media outreach to build Jacaranda Books’ profile, Valerie Brandes appeared on the Monocle podcast The Entrepreneurs to discuss the company’s journey over ten years. We set up a panel session at The London Book Fair in which Valerie and several of her authors appeared to discuss the publisher’s work, and also secured sessions at Oxford Literary Festival and Black Ballad Book Festival centred around Jacaranda Books and its offering. We also secured a number of publishing trade press pieces in The Bookseller and BookBrunch around news stories coming out of Jacaranda Books during our work with them.
Our work on title PR for Jacaranda Books saw strong coverage for the four authors. For the lead summer title, Breaking The Maafa Chain by Anni Domingo, we secured interviews for Anni in Stylist, Writing Magazine and Woman & Home, discussing her author journey and choice to change career later in life, as well as written articles in Big Issue North and The Table Read. We secured a feature in The i and a review in Addicted to Media for Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejidé, which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2022, and reviews in Rewrite Reviews and a piece in Big Issue North for Living The Dream by Isabelle Dupuy. The final title, Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez, was reviewed by Nonchalant magazine and Culture Fly.
While ultimately publication of the A Quick Ting On series was delayed, we managed to secure strong coverage for the announcement of the project, which ran in Evening Standard, Yahoo, British Blacklist and Keep The Faith. Series creator Magdalene Abraha was interviewed by Mariella Frostrup for Times Radio as well as on BBC Radio London and the Over The Bridge podcast. She gave her recommendations for The Strategist’s feature on “25 Black British History Books”, positioning her as an expert on inclusive publishing in the UK, and was included in London on the Inside’s London Hero list. To build momentum for the series, we secured interviews for its authors in BBC Radio London, Clash and Industry Fashion, as well as inclusion of one of the titles in Stylist.
While the campaign for Jacaranda Books unfortunately had to be cut short due to changing publication dates, we managed to secure introductions for the publisher with a number of high-profile organisations regarding potential partnerships, including Twitter, Adidas, Big Hair, Ebuni Ajiduah and The Halo Collective.