The Publishers' Publicity Circle (PPC) is launching its first mentorship scheme for junior publicists at the beginning of 2017.
The programme for the scheme has been devised by the PPC, and is being spearheaded by PPC committee members Kate Bland and Clara Nelson, to create a platform for junior publicists with three years experience or less, to "learn from some of the best in the business".
Five mentors will be matched with a junior mentee for four meetings over the course of a year with the aim of giving each mentee the opportunity to advance their understanding and realise their potential. Mentors will help set quarterly "goals" for their mentees, assisting with campaign planning and skill honing to career and personal development. "No work related subject is out of bounds," say the guidelines.
For its first year pilot, the PPC committee has selected five experienced mentors from across the industry, including an independent publisher, an agency, a big publisher and a children’s expert. They are: Philippa Cotton, fiction publicity manager at Bloomsbury Publishing, Thi Dinh, campaigns director at Riot Communications, Anna- Marie Fitzgerald, publicist at Profile Books, Becky Logan, publicity manager at Hachette Children’s Group and Julia Murday, campaigns manager at Penguin Random House.
Mentors stand to benefit from managerial experience and so from 2018 the selection of mentors will move to an application process, allowing the programme to be open to all.
Junior publicists will be invited to apply for mentorship from tomorrow (10th November) via the PPC website before the set deadline of Monday 5th December. Successful applicants will be matched with their mentor by the end of December ready to start the scheme in January 2017.
Katherine Patrick, PPC chair said: "We have a wealth of expertise within the PPC membership and would like to provide an opportunity for book publicists to benefit from the wide range of experience that we have in our ranks. We hope the scheme will not only offer junior publicists the chance to tap into that knowledge but also allow mentors to further widen their managerial experience."
Murday, mentor and campaigns manager at Penguin General, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of this new initiative from the PPC. Now, more than ever, it's vitally important we share skills and expertise across publishing houses and equip junior publicists with the tools they’ll need to thrive and prosper in the industry. I wish this dynamic scheme existed when I began my career in books, and I cannot wait to meet my mentee next year."