Tender process announced for the Booker Prizes’ PR, marketing and events to complement new in-house team

2022 Booker Prize trophy

The Booker Prize Foundation (BPF) is starting a tender process for the 2023 PR, events, marketing and brand management contract for the Booker Prize, International Booker Prize, and BPF’s wider portfolio. The move comes during a transformational period in the charity’s development and for the first time since its creation in 2002

Publication date and time: Published

Download the press release here.

To date, the majority of the day-to-day operations of the Booker Prize Foundation (BPF), whose purpose is to promote the art and value of literature for the public benefit, have been undertaken by the independent agency Four Culture. Four Culture has handled a wide range of activity including the prize submission processes, PR, brand management, marketing and digital delivery, event management, sponsor management, book trade liaison, judging panel liaison, crisis communications and senior level consultancy. 

Since 2021, the Booker Prize Foundation has been re-structuring how it operates. It has been working with consultant Jen Topping on defining and implementing a new digital strategy and it is now building an in-house team to increase the reach and impact of its work. BPF is delighted to announce two new appointments designed to support its growth: Paul Davies, Head of Editorial, who joined in June and Hannah Davies, Director of Prize Management & Special Projects, who started this month. Both report to Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation. 

Paul Davies, an experienced newspaper and magazine editor, has been recruited to enhance the Booker Prizes’ editorial content, with a portfolio of long reads, interviews, reading lists and explainers to encourage readers to find new ways to engage not only with the books celebrated in the current prize season, but also with the hundreds of titles in the Booker Library (all the books that have been longlisted for both prizes). He will also oversee the Booker’s social media, video and newsletter activity, building a digital community around 
the prizes.

Hannah Davies, a prizes and communications specialist, has been hired to engage in all aspects of BPF’s work, focusing on the management of the two prizes, its communications, its relationships with stakeholders and external suppliers, and scoping any new projects. 

Two new digital roles – content editor and social media manager – are currently being recruited. Other appointments to underpin BPF’s administration and outreach will follow. Fiammetta Rocco remains the Administrator of the International Booker Prize.

BPF is taking this opportunity to assess how best to manage and promote its future activities and has engaged Counterculture Partnership to assist with the tendering process. It is seeking to appoint a single supplier, or a number of suppliers, to provide year-round public relations services, events management, stakeholder management, and marketing and brand management from December 2022. Interested suppliers should complete the Request for Information (RFI) by 5pm, Friday August 26 2022.

Damon Galgut with The Promise

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

‘The team at Four Culture has done sterling work over a long period when the Booker Prize Foundation had no in-house executive staff. As we look to the future we are strengthening the charity from within in order to fulfil ambitious aims.

‘Our future strategy is composed of three ‘pillars’: first and central, to preserve the integrity and renown of the Booker Prizes; second, to produce editorial content that will bring readers together and enhance their experience of contemporary literature; third, to support readers and writers of the future.

‘Hannah Davies and Paul Davies (no relation, and both exceptional in their fields) have been hired to oversee the first two of these elements, and the overarching plan has been developed with the support of the multi-talented consultant Jen Topping.

‘As we start this tender process, we look forward to the next stage in the Booker Prize Foundation’s life.’

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, more than 500 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 Prize 2022 longlist of 13 books, offering ‘story, fable and parable, fantasy, mystery, meditation and thriller’, according to Chair of judges Neil MacGregor, was announced last month.

Other aspects of the Foundation’s work – which is driven by a simple belief that great fiction not only brings joy to millions, it 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 Prize books through the RNIB. The UEA Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship is awarded annually to a candidate for the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Many past scholars have since met with acclaim as published authors. 

For more information and to receive the RFI, interested suppliers should email:  [email protected]

For media enquiries on the tender please contact:
Hannah Davies, Booker Prize Foundation
[email protected]

Gaby Wood