Obama, Rooney and Secret Barrister campaigns triumph at PPC Awards

Obama, Rooney and Secret Barrister campaigns triumph at PPC Awards

Campaigns for titles by Sally Rooney, The Secret Barrister and Michelle Obama were among the winners at the Publisher’s Publicity Circle (PPC) Annual Awards last night (11th February).

The awards are presented each year to publicists judged by a panel of industry figures to have put together the best PR campaigns from 2018.

Independent publicist Hannah Corbett walked away with The Bookseller Award for Hardback Non-Fiction after her work on Pan Macmillan’s anonymously written The Secret Barrister. The Waterstones Hardback Fiction Award was presented to Maria Garbutt-Lucero of Faber & Faber for Normal People by Sally Rooney.

The Best Celebrity Campaign, sponsored by Connell MPA, was presented to Penguin General’s Poppy North and Amelia Fairney for the bestselling Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Louise Court and Lucie Cuthbertson-Twiggs from Vintage picked up the Best Debut Campaign prize for The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower.

The Children’s Book Award, sponsored by the Daily Mail, was scooped by Kirsten Cozens at Walker Books for Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. Lucy Richardson at HQ HarperCollins got the Netgalley Award for Paperback Original for She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox.

Veronique Norton, publicity director at Hodder and chair of the PPC, said: “2018 saw some incredible publicity campaigns across the publishing industry, showcasing creativity and originality and helping books and authors reach an ever-wider audience. I would like to congratulate the winners for all their hard work and it is wonderful that we are able to recognise this through the PPC Annual Awards and celebrate with them tonight.”

The judging panel this year was chaired by Sandra Taylor, head of events at Waterstones, and included Zoe Steadman-Milne from Bristol Festival of Ideas, Alice O’Keeffe from The Bookseller and Sally Morris of the Daily Mail.

Taylor praised the shortlist for its "many innovative, thoughtful and impactful campaigns". She said: "It was a real pleasure to reward the outstanding work of publicists tonight, and it was a reminder of the creativity, strategy and sheer determination that it takes to deliver an exceptional and bestselling campaign."

Norton now steps down as chair this year and Sophie Calder, publicity director at HQ, will take her place with Stephanie Melrose, deputy publicity director at Little, Brown, acting as her deputy.

The other winners were:

The Award for Best Lifestyle, Gift and Humour Campaign sponsored by Books Are My Bag: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis – Maura Wilding, Maura PR & Communications and Harriet Venn, PRH Children’s

The Bristol Festival of Ideas Award for Best Academic Campaign: Making Oscar Wilde by Michele Mendelssohn – Anna Silva, OUP

The Foyles Cookery Book Award: BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby – Sophie Calder, HQ HarperCollins and Megan Carver, Carver PR

The YALC Award for Best YA Campaign: Misfit by Charli Howard – Simon Armstrong, PRH Children’s

The Edinburgh Book Festival Award for Best Generic Campaign: Horrible Histories 25th Anniversary – Penelope Daukes, Scholastic Children’s Books

Best Sports Book Campaign sponsored by The Sun: How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch – Tessa Henderson, Ebury

Best Newcomer Award sponsored by Jo James: The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts – Joe Thomas, HQ Harper Collins

Events Manager of the Year: Rosie Beaumont Thomas, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road

Journalist of the Year: Ursula Kenny, Observer New Review

Librarian of the Year: Mel Graaf, Bolton Library