The year got off to a royal start with the news that our longstanding client, Carl Gilleard, has been awarded an OBE for his services to the higher education and business worlds.
Carl recently retired from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) after 15 years as Chief Executive. He was instrumental there in building relationships between businesses, employers, graduates and universities in a way that has changed the landscape for students entering the workplace. And while he may have retired, he is certainly not stopping…
We’ve had an energetic start to the year with lots of client renewals as well as some exciting new projects on the horizon. 2014 marks the 27th year of (Four) Colman Getty and it’s gratifying to see how many of our high profile clients have been with us for many of those 27 years. This year, for example, marks our 21st year of handling the Man Booker Prize - is this a record I wonder?
2014 also marks well over a decade of working with bestselling author, Jeffrey Archer, whose fourth novel in the hugely popular Clifton Chronicles -Be Careful What You Wish For - is published by Macmillan on 13 March. Every one of the books in the series so far has gone to number one so we’ve got high hopes for this one too.
We’ve got high hopes too for Joseph Connolly’s A-Z Of Eating Out, a beautifully produced, witty and indispensable guide to all aspects of eating away from home. As Jo says, eating out is something we all do: ‘whether far too rarely, pretty regularly all things considered, or else so very damned often that sometimes we wonder how ever we manage to get anything done’…We’re expanding our work with the Royal Horticultural Society this year and will be working with them to build awareness of the charity work of the organisation. Most people know the RHS because of the Chelsea Flower Show and their other shows around the country, but they also do some terrific campaigning work and tackle a range of issues, from addressing the horti-skills gap, particularly with young people, to demonstrating how horticulture may reduce our impact on the environment.
Other renewals in the world of books and publishing include the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and the Everyman list, including the Everyman Bollinger Wodehouse Prize where the lucky writer wins a Gloucestershire Old Spots pig along with a magnum of Bolly. Foyles will be opening their new flagship store at 107 Charing Cross Road this Spring, after another successful year in 2013.
We’ve been in full art flair flow this month for the 26th edition of London Art Fair, held at the Business Design Centre in London’s Angel. The fair - the UK's largest for Modern British and contemporary art - has been a client of ours for three years now, and despite being the grande dame of British art fairs, continues to innovate and create new ways to reach collectors. New features this year included a pavilion curated by The Hepworth Wakefield which helped to place some of the fair's modern British highlights within the context of the collection of one of the UK's top art museums, as well as a 'Dialogues' section which saw exciting young UK galleries paired with international counterparts to co-curate a space.
Equally inspirational was the lecture was given by Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, who gave the 2014 Women of the Year Lecture two weeks ago. Interviewed by BBC journalist Sarah Montague she recounted how, as a woman, she had faced many challenges in her rise to power. "Running for my first safe seat in parliament was a hard process," she explained. "Many viewed it as a 'working man's seat.' Politics is not for the faint hearted."Going on to talk about tackling her next role as head of the UNDP, and her goal to empower women across the world, she emphasised the importance of educating women in order to achieve gender equality.Women have long been a speciality of the agency so we are delighted, too, to be working with Women in Architecture on their awards and with Barbara Stocking, formerly Chief Executive of OXFAM, in her new role as President of Murray Edwards College in Cambridge (formerly the all- women’s New College) in their 60th anniversary year.
The New Year has brought lots of new clients in its wake including The Philosophy Foundation, The Canal & River Trust and the National Institute of Continuing Education (NIACE) where we have been taken on to work on the campaign for Adult Learners’ Week in June.
We’ve been spreading our tentacles further afield and will shortly be launching a brilliant new book, Chineasy, an innovative and highly visual new way to learn Chinese. ShaoLan, Chineasy’s creator, is newly back from Davos – you’ll be hearing a lot more about her and Chineasy in the future.
Truda and I are just back from a few days in Brussels, meeting with a fascinating selection of EU creative directors all of whom are interested in being part of a new network of festivals throughout the EU. The association promises to be a marvellous example of how culture can cross geographic boundaries and speak with one voice.
Julie Brook is not only a much loved client but she has been the source of the current art show adorning our London Bridge offices. To thank Julie for this, we hosted a friends and family drinks reception at the offices.
Julie’s next show is going to be in the Dunoon Burgh Hall, thanks to John and Dava McAslan so if you’re planning to be on the West Coast of Scotland this summer, do pop in and take a look.
That’s all for this month apart from to wish you Kung Hei Fat Choi and Gong Xi Fa Cai– Happy New Year in Cantonese and Mandarin respectively. May the Year of the Horse be a happy one for you!