Summer 2022 was challenging for cultural events around the country. With the rising cost of living plaguing households and many still feeling anxious about Covid, ticket sales needed a huge push.
So when I was invited to deliver the national PR for Primadonna Festival in Suffolk, I knew I had to give it my all to ensure as many people within the target demographic knew about this wonderful summer event. To be clear, all small festivals regardless of quality had a huge job on their hands to attract audiences.
Being part of festival teams is fascinating – you get the behind-the-scenes look at the hard work needed to produce a joyous experience for the public.
Other challenges included vying for media coverage when larger festivals such as Latitude (also in Suffolk), and of course, the mother of British festivals, Glastonbury.
The media landscape had changed since Covid too, with many journalists writing on a freelance basis for a few different titles. Due this lack of continuity maintaining key connections had become trickier.
With this in mind, I took a multi-pronged approach to securing coverage; I pitched columns, interviews, travel destinations, listings, event round-ups and real life stories. I approached staff writers as well as freelance journalists.
I also invested time into building relationships with agents, PRs and PAs to coordinate and maximise on media opportunities.
Below are highlights from my activity. Where there is online coverage, I have included links.
‘Sunday With…’ column in The Observer with Kit de Waal, author and a founding member of Primadonna.
The Week’s ‘Best Books’ column with favourite titles chosen by writers, Abi Morgan and Viv Groskop.
A double-page DIVAmag interview with author Juno Dawson.
Inclusion of Primadonna in a The Sunday Times and The Big Issue lists of summer festivals.
News story in The Bookseller.
MyLondon feature interview with Betty Boo.
The total reach is 33 million across all national print and online media coverage, with The Times responsible for the greatest exposure.
About Primadonna Festival
Primadonna is a festival of books, ideas and inspiration. We have something for everyone with film, music, comedy, food, drink, DJs and therapies alongside our main programme of talks, interviews and discussions. Our line-up gives prominence to women, people of colour, LGBTQI+ and working class people, and disabled people: everyone is welcome at Primadonna, especially those that might not think a book festival is ‘for them’.