Public Relations: JK Rowling

Murderously good Media Management for the world’s biggest crime writing festival.

Case Study Theakstons Crime, 2014

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is the best celebration of the crime genre in the world. 2014 featured JK Rowling’s only UK appearance, writing as Robert Galbraith.

The media coverage in 2014 surpassed previous years, generating £2.5m AVEs. Media relations had to be carefully managed with Rowling’s publicists.

Cause UK co-ordinated media in attendance including live broadcasts from BBC Radio 5, BBC Radio 2, and filming by the Yorkshire Post, BBC Look North and Audible, as well as a wealth of online and print journalists including BBC Arts Online, The Bookseller, the Independent, the Express, the Daily Mail, Radio Times and the Telegraph. International journalists also attended from America, Australia and Denmark, and from the Press Association who helped ensure the story went global, with stories in Hello magazine, the Tampa Bay Times, Sydney Morning Herald and USA Today.

Notable media include a special feature on The Radio 2 Art’s Show with Claudia Winkleman, and a BBC Radio 4 Front Row feature.

We ensured all crime bloggers were kept up-to-date with all releases and photos, and joined in the #TOPCRIME2014 social media campaign, which trended over the weekend, with over 4,000 tweets.

One of the biggest media coups was working with the Festival to create a media partnership with Radio Times for the Theakstons Old Peculier Novel of the Year Awards.

We secured author Ann Cleeves on BBC Breakfast, asked Mark Lawson to write a crime special for the Big Issue, and author Charles Cumming to do a bespoke feature for the Guardian. We also set up blogs for authors on Guardian Books online and Huffington Post.

Lynda La Plante featured in a BBC Online film and the Telegraph, and Belinda Bauer, Novel of the Year winner, featured in the Independent, BBC, Guardian, and Bookseller.