Mike Shooter: Growing Pains

Midas PR’s intelligent paperback campaign turns around the controversial media narrative around the hardback

Our client
Dr Mike Shooter is a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the first Child Psychiatrist to hold the role. Mike came to Midas to help promote the paperback edition of his memoirs Growing Pains (Hodder).  Midas was also briefed to pitch Mike for speaking opportunities and literary festivals. The hardback had been published to blanket coverage in national press, featured on TV, but the messaging had been misconstrued by the media and had not been true to the book’s content.

What they wanted us to do
Given the extent and type of media coverage the hardback received, and the limits for paperback coverage in traditional media, our approach was to try to secure online audiences for the book; organise radio interviews for Mike as there had been none for the hardback, and secure peer reviews in relevant journals, of which there had been none first time around. We also needed to change the messaging around the book and find new audiences.

How we did it
Through in-depth discussion with the author and an intelligent assessment of the book’s themes, we refined a number of key messages. We used these to turn around the controversial media narrative around the hardback, and presented Mike as a knowledgeable, experienced and sensitive commentator and expert on children and young people’s mental health issues.

What we achieved for them
Overall, the engagement with parenting and blogging communities online proved very successful, with some very positive reviews and opportunities for Mike to reach the very families who will benefit from this book.

Mike had a great studio interview with Jo Good for BBC Radio London, and seven other radio interviews including BBC Radio Wales. Paperback reviews are scarce in national press, however Max Pemberton mentioned the book in his Daily Mail column. We also secured an interview in School House Magazine, and an excellent think piece in Big Issue North on why pills are not the answer to young people’s mental health problems. We managed to secure five events, of which a highlight was the Dartington Ways with Words Festival in July. Mike was also booked as a speaker for the Penarth Festival and Book-ish Literary Festival. At the event which Mike did in Oldham for the Bookmark Festival, the organisers said it was the best event they had ever done.



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