International Dylan Thomas Prize reaches 324 million and shortlisted for Welsh PR Award
Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama. The prize is named after the Swansea-born writer Dylan Thomas who died at just 39 years old as one of the most important writers of the 20th century. The prize invokes his memory to support the best young writers of today and nurture the talents of tomorrow. 2018 marked the 10th edition of the prize, and also commemorates 65 years since the death of Wales’ most lauded writer Dylan Thomas. The shortlist was announced on 27th March, with the winner announced on 10th May. The British Library also ran a special event on the 8th May with a select number of the shortlisted authors ahead of the winner announcement.
What they wanted us to do
Midas PR was appointed by Swansea University, the stewards of the prize, to run a PR campaign which positions the International Dylan Thomas Prize as one of the world’s leading literary prizes, raised the profile of the Prize and reinforce it as a key date in the literary calendar and to highlight the stewardship of the prize by Swansea University. This was to be achieved through coverage that celebrated the shortlisted and winning writers and showcase their work to new and existing audiences, generating discussion and debate around young writers, new fiction and literary prizes and engaging new audiences by generating national and international media coverage that goes beyond the books pages, all ensuring that the coverage reinforced the key messages of the prize.
How we did it
To achieve these goals, Midas developed a comprehensive announcement strategy that delivered timely and effective PR around the key announcement dates ensuring wide spread news coverage nationally, internationally and regionally. Midas secured diverse and extensive coverage for both the shortlist and winners announcements, the British Library event, the 10th anniversary of the prize and 65th anniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas through a spectrum of news stories, interviews, features across the national print and broadcast media, as well as extensive online, regional and international coverage. We worked closely with various in-house publicists to secure interview time with hugely in-demand authors for selected, highly targeted, high profile media opportunities. We also capitalised on opportunities not dependent on author availability, such as pieces on the prize as a whole and with use of the judging panel in the trade and literary press.
What we achieved for them
Over the course of 12 weeks, Midas secured 117 pieces of coverage from over 90 different outlets across broadcast (2 national TV interviews including Sky Sunrise, 11 national radio interviews including BBC 2 Arts Show, Radio 4 Front Row, Radio 5 Live Up All Night), print (9 in national newspapers including Guardian and I newspaper, 18 across regional newspapers, 4 across nationals magazines), trade (16 pieces) and online (72 pieces including pieces in Reader’s Digest Online, TLS Online, The Pool, RED.co.uk and social media and blogger activity). The total estimated circulation for the PR campaign was 324million. Midas PR’s campaign has since been submitted and is shortlisted for the CIPR PRide Award for the best arts, culture and sports PR campaign in Wales.