The first of February marked the anniversary of Colman Getty joining forces with Four in 2012. The twelve months since we merged have flown past and it’s been invigorating for us as a company to be able to work in a larger field and offer our clients more services, while still retaining our own individual culture.
February has seen a rush of new business for Four Colman Getty. Having worked with the Guildhall Art Gallery for a couple of years, we were delighted to win a City of London contract to launch its next public art exhibition in the City. The City of London is home to one of the most diverse concentrations of high quality arts and cultural organisations and activities in the UK which not only attract visitors to the City but also enrich the lives of residents and City workers alike. The launch of The Great St Helen’s Sculpture Space is due to take place this June with a second wave of activity around the Frieze Art Fair in October.
Still on the arts front, following the success of this year’s London Art Fair, we have been taken on by Upper Street Events to work on the next New Designers, a huge graduate design show opening at the Business Design Centre in Islington June. We have also been asked by The Legacy Trust to work on an April debate about the impact of the London 2012 Festival on young people while Literature Wales have come back to us for a second year with two literary projects for 2013.
Now that the snowdrops are in bloom in St James’ Square, our thoughts are once again turning to the great outdoors - and with that to the three Royal Horticultural Society shows we will be working on this year: Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. This year marks the centenary of RHS Chelsea, so look out for even more excitements than usual come May.
Another famous client who was in the news this month was James Bond, with the announcement that William Boyd’s new 007 continuation novel is to be published on 26 September. The book, as yet untitled, is one of the most eagerly anticipated publications of the year and will be published in the UK by Jonathan Cape – Ian Fleming’s original publisher.
Another eagerly anticipated novel is Jeffrey Archer’s new book, Best Kept Secret, the third in his bestselling Clifton Chronicles series. Jeffrey is already hard at work on a number of international interviews before he leaves for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai, followed by a four-city tour of India.
Earlier this month and twenty years since his brutal murder shocked the world, we were privileged to work with Ralph Bulger on his memoir about his son, My James (Sidgwick & Jackson). Ralph has rarely spoken in public about what happened to James. Winifred Robinson’s powerful Radio 4 interview with Ralph and Gloria Hunniford’s interview on This Morning has helped the book reach the number one slot in the Sunday Times bestseller list. The charity MAMAA was founded in the wake of James’s death and has supported the Bulger family since. MAMAA provides confidential practical advice, emotional support and advocacy to anyone affected by serious violent crime and/or homicide. It’s largely run by volunteers and has just lost two thirds of its government funding. If you want to find out more about their work, go to www.mamaa.org
Our campaigning team has been equally busy. This month they were appointed by the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association on a short-term project to raise their media profile and increase understanding of how sixth form colleges differ from FE colleges.
Another high point in the month was the visit of the HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to our charity client, Action on Addiction’s Hope House treatment centre in South London. The overflowing press pen had been filling up since 6am on the morning of her visit with international news crews and photographers. Media interest in the visit was at a fever pitch not previously experienced on Royal visits thanks to the Duchess’ pregnancy - even CNN’s Max Foster remarked that he had never seen anything like it!
Despite the media frenzy the visit went without a hitch as The Duchess, who became Patron of Action on Addiction at the start of last year, met with women currently in treatment for addiction, Hope House counsellors and therapists, and other charity staff and supporters. She took part in an art therapy group and observed a food preparation session, where she chatted to the women about the therapeutic powers of art and the importance of nutrition in the treatment process.
As Nick Barton, chief executive of Action on Addiction, commented , ‘The Duchess’ support, in throwing a spotlight on addiction and recovery and helping us to break down the stigma associated with this complex condition, is enormously important.’
We’ve also been working with the literacy charity Beanstalk (formerly Volunteer Reading Help), the charity responsible for Evening Standard’s Get London Reading campaign for some time now. I was thrilled to be asked to mentor one of this year’s teams who are competing in th3 2013 Beanstalk Corporate Challenge. ‘My’ team, drawn from staff at The Book People, has drawn up a wonderfully creative and ambitious business plan which they plan to action over the next six months with the aim of raising a minimum of £20,000 to support the work of the charity. I’ve a feeling they’ll do that – and more, so watch this space!
That’s all for February but more next month.