In my inaugural address at our Annual General Meeting last May I said that 2020 was not playing out as I had imagined it would, but sometimes we are at our best when we are put to the test. What a test the past twelve months has been.
I am incredibly proud to say that we stood up to these challenges and continued to do the important work that we, as publishers, do. I am inspired by the resilience I have seen and have been honoured to serve as the President of our Association this past year.
My primary focus as President has been to help guide the Publishers Association through the Covid crisis. Looking back, I am impressed by how we, as an industry, have fared. We have endured the crisis and have contributed hugely to society during this incredibly difficult time. We adapted, re-focused, experimented and found ways to keep delivering what people need from us. We have delivered books to comfort, provide a temporary escape and generate conversations even when we are apart from each other. We have put high quality resources into the hands and onto the screens of those who suddenly had to continue their education remotely, and we have continued to provide access to robust, peer-reviewed research, the importance of which has never been clearer.
We adapted, re-focused, experimented and found ways to keep delivering what people need from us. We have delivered books to comfort, provide a temporary escape and generate conversations even when we are apart from each other.
My second priority in my term as President was to commission a narrative to ensure that our positive impact as an industry is clear and effective. I’m happy that, despite the pressing nature of our response to the pandemic, we have been able to pursue this. It’s important for us all that the wider world understand what we do, the contribution we make and the value we add. We produce trusted information that facilities exchange. We connect creators and audiences. And we underpin the global knowledge economy. Publishing is a uniquely valuable industry and I hope that the new narrative will empower us all to communicate this with confidence.
My final priority was to advocate for the needs of the publishing industry and ensure that copyright protection is maintained throughout the Brexit process and beyond. After all, publishing is Britain’s best envoy, sharing our language, culture, expertise and stories with the world. To enable us to continue to continue to do this successfully post-Brexit we need to maintain our strong copyright regime. The Publishers Association have been communicating this to the government and will continue to do so under our new President, David Shelley.
Looking to the future, I am confident in our ability to keep adapting and thriving. There will be more challenges and we will meet them. We are a creative and dynamic industry and we have proven our mettle this year.
This was originally published in the Publishers Association’s Annual Report 2020.