My day starts with handing out today’s newspapers. We each read the same paper for a week and then rotate - so we can check out potential slots, relevant articles and cut out features and reviews for our titles. It also means we can get a feel for what each particular paper is looking for.
This is then followed by going through the cuttings email. Our whole publicity team subscribes to a service that scans newspapers for mentions of our publishing. These are then saved to pass on to agents and authors and also to include in campaign updates to let other people in Penguin Random House know what coverage we have lined up.
From then on every day is different. On a fairly standard day I might write and design a press release for an upcoming title; send out lots and lots of books to various reviewers, bloggers and influencers; make sure our office has enough copies of books; and other daily tasks, such as responding to emails and answering the phone.
I normally try to break up smaller tasks with larger ones. For instance, after sending on the cuttings and doing a scan through all my emails, I tend to work on a campaign plan for one of my own titles or plan out a schedule for an author going on tour – something that takes up a bit more time – then I have a break by going back to emails and answering any urgent queries. It helps to have a list to keep track of everything!
It’s been a fairly busy time recently in publishing, as we’ve just passed Super Thursday, where over 500 books were published in the UK. As a result, we’ve been handling a lot of large campaigns and I’ve assisted on many, from Rick Stein’s The Road to Mexico to Blue Planet II to Richard Branson’s Finding My Virginity – the list goes on. As a result I’ve had a lot of image and recipe requests, and I’ve assisted at a lot of events too. Most recently I attended a signing for the YouTube musician, Dodie, which was a lot of fun.
However, as I said, every day is different and that’s what’s so enjoyable about working in Publicity, particularly for a department that publishes such a wide array of books and authors.
© Sarah Garnham 2017