Hodder’s Louise Swannell and Pan Macmillan’s Dusty Miller have been recognised for their “standout” campaigns for Erin Kelly’s He Said/ She Said and Adam Kay’s junior doctor diaries This is Going to Hurt at the PPC Annual Awards for 2017.
Other books at the centre of the awards, celebrating the publicists responsible for the best PR campaigns of 2017, included Reni Eddo-Lodge’s debut Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (best debut campaign, Bloomsbury), How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb (LBF award for hardback celebrity, Canongate) and Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust (Daily Mail’s children’s award, PRH Childrens), spearheaded respectively by Rebecca Thorne at Bloomsbury, Anna Frame and Jenny Fry at Canongate and, a joint effort between PRH Children’s and Riot Communications, Katy MacMillan-Scott, Laura Curtis, Adele Minchin, Alice Broderick and Harriet Venn.
The winners of 13 categories were announced during Monday evening’s awards in London (5th February), as chosen by this year’s panel of judges: Steven Cooper at Waterstones, Andy Quinn from Foyles, Alice O’Keeffe from The Bookseller, Stuart Evers from Netgalley, Jo Shaw from Nielsen and Karen McPherson from The Reading Agency.
Further triumphant winners of the night included Karen Baker and Matthew Grindon at the Octopus Publishing Group, scooping The Cookery Book Award, sponsored by Foyles, for their campaign for How to Eat Better: How to Shop, Store & Cook to Make Any Food a 'Superfood by James Wong.
Maura Wilding, Liz Hyder and Beatrice Cross across Macmillan Children's Books and Maura PR & Communications won The Edinburgh Book Festival Award for Lifestyle, Gift and Humour for their PR on A Poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri.
Rosi Crawley of Walker Books and Emma Draude of EDPR took The YALC Award for Best YA Campaign for their work promoting The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Angela McMahon of Flow Communications for Orion won The Netgalley Award for a Generic Campaign for her publicity for Rebus 30, celebrating 30 years of Ian Rankin's detective protagonist.
Polly Osborn of Harper Non-Fiction was recognised in the Best Sports Book Campaign category, sponsored by The Sun, after her campaign for How to Build a Car by Adrian Newe.
Oneworld's Kate Bland was crowned the winner of The Bookseller Award for Paperback Original Campaign: Fiction or Non-Fiction for PR around The Angry Chef by Anthony Warner.
Chloe Foster at Oxford University Press took the Academic Campaign of the Year category with Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire by Carol Dyhouse.
The Best Newcomer Award, sponsored by Jo James, went to Mia Quibell-Smith at Vintage for her campaign for Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong.
Hannah Ross, publicity director at Profile and chair of the PPC, said it had been a “tough job” for the PPC committee to whittle down entries for the original shortlists, thanks to the “outstanding” quality of entered campaigns, and praised each of the winners all the more for overcoming “fierce competition”.
“Each year the campaigns submitted to the annual awards seem to get even more creative, imaginative and standout, and this year they did that again and more,” said Ross. “I know the judges had their work cut out selecting just one winner for each category. Huge congratulations to all the winners, no mean feat with such fierce competition.”
Ross now steps down and Veronique Norton, publicity director at Hodder, will become chair for 2018 and Sophie Calder, publicity director at HQ Harper Collins, her deputy.
Steven Cooper, chair of the judges, gave publicists their dues as “some of the most hardworking, resourceful and resilient people in publishing” and said it had been “an honour” to celebrate all of their work.
“Judging this year’s PPC Award has been a fascinating experience though it has been a challenge to choose winners from such a stellar line-up of shortlisted campaigns,” he said. “Publicists are some of the most hardworking, resourceful and resilient people in publishing, who put so much time and care into getting their books. It has been a real honour to be able to celebrate and applaud all of their efforts this evening.”