OK, so anyone could establish an award and bestow it upon whoever, or whatever, they want. The world is full of inane honours and self congratulatory back slapping at prize ceremonies for everything from air conditioning to frozen food. Publishing awards, however, have a cultural dimension that ensures that their existence is only sanctioned while they remain relevant to a reading public.
We have been fortunate enough to be consulted on building brand status for some of the UK’s most highly regarded literary prizes and, in the Man Booker Prize, arguably one of the world’s most coveted awards. Our track record is wide and varied and in each case has helped build confidence, relevance and status.
Applying the instincts of branding communications to awards of this nature creates additional traction on the public perception. Exciting results come from plugging this into as broad a public as possible and connecting on an emotional level.
Return on investment
Book sales of shortlisted writers and winners naturally go through the roof, which points to the immediate impact on the market. But through developing online tools and innovative communications channels such as forums and blogs, we are widening engagement in UK literature and developing relationships across the globe.
Technology is not just widening engagement in book awards, it is widening participation in story making and telling. Social networks that congregate around literature are uncovering new stories, new writers and new ways to distribute and connect with readers every day.
A new wave of narrative that we have not yet imagined cannot be that far away.