Premier appointed to manage Booker Prizes’ PR, marketing and events, complementing new in-house team

The Booker Prize Foundation (BPF) is pleased to announce it has appointed Premier to provide year-round public relations, marketing and event management services for the Booker Prize, International Booker Prize and BPF’s wider portfolio.

Premier is the UK’s largest dedicated creative communications agency for international entertainment, arts and culture, and has more than 20 years’ experience delivering world-class communications campaigns, as well as industry-leading events and partnerships. It is known for its high-impact work in the film, TV and theatre sectors, producing premieres for films such as Top Gun and launching shows including Succession and Hamilton. It also works year-round with leading entertainment brands such as Sky, including amplifying Sky Arts’ partnership with the Cheltenham Literary Festival for its 70th anniversary, and on cross-cultural campaigns such as the Art of London. Clients in the publishing industry include Puffin for its 80th anniversary, Bloomsbury, and the Quarto Group. 

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The appointment of a new communications agency follows a competitive tender process and takes effect from the beginning of January 2023. It comes during a transformational period in BPF’s development. 

Since BPF was established in 2002 as a charity whose purpose is to promote the art and value of literature for the public benefit, the majority of its day-to-day operations have been undertaken by the independent agency Four Culture. Since 2021, BPF has been re-structuring how it operates. This includes defining and implementing a new digital strategy, building an in-house team to increase the reach and impact of its work, and assessing how best to manage and promote its future activities. 

In the summer, it engaged Counterculture Partnership to assist with the tendering process for its PR, marketing and events contract, from which Premier has been chosen as the successful supplier. Premier has been appointed to help BPF fulfil its twin ambitions: to inspire people from all over the world to come together to read the world’s best fiction, and to support readers and writers of the future.

Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, says:

‘The Booker Prize Foundation has undergone unprecedented change in the past few years, as it seeks more ambitiously to fulfil its aim of promoting the art and value of literature for the public benefit.

‘New elements have included significant investment in digital editorial content, the recruitment of the Foundation’s first in-house team, and undertaking a tender process for the PR, marketing and events contract. This change in direction has resulted in the appointment of a new agency: Premier will begin work with the Booker Prize Foundation in January. 

‘However, none of the Booker’s evolution could have taken place without the stellar work of Four Culture, who under Dotti Irving orchestrated both prizes for several decades, and who have also been extremely collaborative colleagues under the more recent leadership of Truda Spruyt. We cannot thank them enough for their expertise, or for their longstanding commitment to, and passion for, the prizes. 

‘We look forward to working with the dynamic team at Premier, whose strong cross-cultural relations and ambitious vision will help deliver an exciting new chapter in the Booker’s life.’

John Reiss, Executive Chairman at Premier, adds:

‘The Booker Prize Foundation and its prizes have long been the benchmark in recognising excellence and supporting diverse voices across literature. Premier is delighted to have been chosen to work for BPF. Not only do we share the same values, but our range of expertise means our PR, marketing and events teams will combine to support and amplify the work done by BPF.’

Booker prize 2022 trophy

The Booker Prizes have a unique place in the literary sphere, enjoying an enviable reputation as a cultural institution that is highly respected, much loved and hotly debated throughout the world. Over the past 50 years, over 600 extraordinary books have been brought to the attention of the public, influencing reading tastes and transforming culture in Britain and beyond, along with the careers of hundreds of authors from around the world. 

The Booker Prizes website is now a go-to destination for high-quality features on many of the books from the Booker Library including in-depth interviews, essays, reading lists, competitions, quizzes and more, while its YouTube channel has a range of original video content.

Other aspects of BPF’s work – which is driven by a simple belief that great fiction not only brings joy to millions but has the power to change the way we think about the world we live in – include reading initiatives in prisons, writers’ visits to universities, the distribution of books to disadvantaged readers and the funding of Braille and audio editions of Booker Prizes books through the RNIB. The UEA Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship is awarded annually to a candidate for the MA Prose Fiction course at the University of East Anglia. Many past scholars have since met with acclaim as published authors.  

For media enquiries, please contact:
Booker Prize Foundation: Hannah Davies, [email protected] 
Premier: Simon Millward, [email protected]

Hilary Mantel 2009

Notes to editors

•    Premier has over two decades’ experience of delivering world-class communications campaigns for the international entertainment, arts and culture industries. Clients include major producers, distributors, broadcasters and streamers of filmed entertainment together with the best-known actors, directors, writers, artists and performers alongside the highest profile gaming companies, consumer brands, entertainment and arts festivals. Premier is based in London and independently owned by its senior management team. 
•    The Booker Prize – awarded annually in the autumn – is the leading literary award in the English-speaking world. It was first awarded in 1969 and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over five decades. It was called the Man Booker Prize for Fiction when sponsored by Man Group from 2002-2018. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best work of long-form fiction written in English and published in the UK and Ireland, irrespective of the nationality or citizenship of the author. The winner receives £50,000 as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. Both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a global readership and can expect a dramatic increase in book sales. The winner of the Booker Prize 2022 was The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka. The Booker Prize 2023 judging panel is chaired by Esi Edugyan and includes Adjoa Andoh, Mary Jean Chan, James Shapiro and Robert Webb. The longlist will be announced in July 2023.
•    The International Booker Prize – awarded annually in spring – is for the best single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. It was known until 2019 as the Man Booker International Prize when sponsored by Man Group. The winner’s prize purse is £50,000; £25,000 for the author and £25,000 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators). There will be a prize of £5,000 for each of the shortlisted titles: £2,500 for the author and £2,500 for the translator (or divided equally between multiple translators). The winner of the International Booker Prize 2022 was Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell. The International Booker Prize 2023 judging panel is chaired by Leïla Slimani and includes Uilleam Blacker, Tan Twan Eng, Parul Sehgal and Frederick Studemann. The longlist will be announced on Tuesday March 14 2023.
•    Please visit our Notes to Editors page to find out more about the Booker Prize, the International Booker Prize, and the Booker Prize Foundation, including its trustees, advisory committee, partners and beneficiaries.

Her Majesty The Queen Consort congratulates Shehan Karunatilaka after presenting him with the Booker Prize 2022 winner's trophy