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April Newsletter

One of the joys of working at Four Colman Getty is that I am never bored! April has been choc a bloc with excitements and fascinating projects across the company.The announcement of Margaret Thatcher’s death has generated discussion and activity around the world, and not least in our office. As soon as the news broke, we leapt into action to announce the publication of Margaret Thatcher’s authorized biography, written by Daily Telegraph political journalist, Charles Moore. Our MD, Liz Sich, had been working with Penguin for a number of years, planning for the announcement, without the knowledge of when it might be made. Ironically, as it turned out, Liz was on holiday skiing but she made up for being away in the 10 days that followed her return.It’s been one of the most high profile launches of recent years and I was really proud of the way that the Four Colman Getty machine swung into action to orchestrate a global PR campaign and launch party for 400 at Banqueting House in Whitehall. It’s a launch that will go down in the annals.The launch party for Charles’ book in fact took place on the same evening as a few of us were in Abu Dhabi to handle the announcement of the winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, aka ' the Arabic Booker'. Our colleagues from Four in the Gulf were there to lend a hand and the ceremony ran seamlessly. This was despite a last minute change to the Sheikh's schedule which meant that the entire event for 300 guests had to be moved forward by half an hour and cut by 15 minutes.A huge cheer went up when 31 year old Saud Alsanousi was announced as the winner for his book, The Bamboo Stalk. On hearing the news Saud gave his mum a massive hug which The National captured and ran as a front page story. He was a very gracious winner and paid tribute to the five new friends he had made – the five other writers who had been shortlisted for the prize.While I was in the Middle East I spent a few days meeting people and looking at the cultural scene in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Bizarrely I found myself following in Boris’ footsteps in every city, as he posed on his bike for photos outside Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, and met Sheikha Mayassa Al-Thani in Doha as part of his Trade Mission to the UAE. He beat me to it, however, and made it back to London just in time for Charles’ launch party…

Boris Johnson at the Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography book launch (photo credit: David Levenson)

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography is already in the bestsellers list, as is Jeffrey Archer’s Best Kept Secret. As I write, it’s sitting at number 4 in its sixth week - and showing every sign of staying there!Another book which we’re anticipating hitting the bestsellers list this September is William Boyd’s James Bond continuation novel. Will announced his title - Solo- at the London Book Fair this month and explained why he had chosen it:‘Sometimes less is more. For me as a novelist the simple beauty of Solo as the title of the next James Bond novel is that this short four-letter word is particularly and strikingly apt for the novel I have written. In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization - and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.’ Can’t wait till September to read more!Our campaigning team are increasingly holding successful roundtable discussions for their clients which bring experts together with journalists to discuss a particular topic. More information on this later in the newsletter.The Four Group operates an industry-leading graduate recruitment programme which is terrific for bringing young talent into the company. We’ve added to that this year by joining the PRCA Apprenticeship programme and welcomed our first PR Apprentice to the campaigning team on 2 April.The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds aims to support businesses to grow by providing incentives to assist in offering young people employment through the Apprenticeship programme. Frances joined us last month and is already proving to be an enthusiastic and valued member of the campaigning team. We do masses of work in the area of young people and employment to it’s great to be able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.Finally, following the huge success of our first Off the Page event last month, were looking forward to our next event on 3 June, which will examine ‘Mobile Culture.’ Tom Chatfield will kick off the evening with presentations from a range of industry experts exploring some of the ways that the technology we carry in our pockets everyday can change the way we encounter, experience and share art, books and culture.Do come if you can – more info at http://offthepage.net/mobile-culture-june-2013/That’s all from me this month! More in May.All bestDotti

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