2014 has been an action-packed year for us all at Four Colman Getty, and November certainly continued that trend with a whole series of exciting launches and projects
You will remember that HRH the Duchess of Cornwall was the guest of honour at the Man Booker dinner in October. We worked again with the Royal household in November, this time on the renaming of the Prince’s Drawing School as the Royal Drawing School.
Founded 14 years ago by HRH the Prince of Wales with the artist Catherine Goodman, the school is one of a handful in the world which is dedicated to the teaching of drawing. Having launched with 40 students, it now teaches over 1,000 every week.
The granting of the Royal name, by permission of Her Majesty the Queen, is a recognition of the academic and artistic excellence of the school and of its international importance. This significant moment was celebrated with a sparkling reception at the school’s Shoreditch HQ where Prince Charles pledged his ongoing support to ensure ‘that the Royal Drawing School will continue to grow as an educational resource open to all, regardless of background or circumstance’.
We had another Royal engagement this month on behalf of our long-standing and much loved client, the Royal Horticultural Society. We've worked with the RHS for five years and for the first time this year we helped them develop their inaugural ‘Growing Trends’ lunch.
The aim of the event on 17 November was to position the RHS as the voice of horticulture and to preview some of the charity’s key moments for 2015. In total, around 35 journalists from national magazines, newspapers and broadcast outlets attended. They met key RHS staff, including Director General Sue Biggs, and heard the latest news relating to the RHS gardens, the charity’s scientific work and its community initiatives.
The RHS also revealed the results of a survey in to the nation’s gardening habits, as well as announcing Prince Charles and Prince Harry’s garden for the charity, Sentebale, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.
Amongst the interesting results of the survey was the fact that a whopping 93% of respondents either have a garden or grow plants. As a keen gardener myself I was also thrilled to hear that 80% of 16-24 year olds say that growing plants and gardening are important to them.
The event showed that 2015 promises to be, as ever, a busy year for the RHS!
As is our norm, we fielded a strong and hopeful team at the annual PEN Quiz - including 2014 Man Booker judge Dan Glaser, PATROL supremo Carlo Sheppard and journalists John Dugdale, Rachel Cooke and Tony Quinn. A good time was had by all, and plenty of money was raised for a good cause – but sadly we were no match for the Telegraph team, which won for the second year running.
Congratulations are due to Jeffrey Archer who was awarded the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards inaugural ‘International Recognition Award’. The judges cited his phenomenal staying power as ‘a one-man publishing industry, combining his unique storytelling ability with an indefatigable energy that has seen him top bestseller lists around the world with sales of over 270 million copies for his many novels and short story collections’. Beat that if you can!
Finally we held a super party this week to bid farewell to our MD Liz Sich who, after eighteen years in the company, is planning to depart these PR shores and get on with a few other things in her life.
Liz now has two grandchildren she dotes on. She’s got olives to pick in Italy; she’s got loads of charities that she’s involved with; she’s got tennis; Italian classes; opera and choirs to enjoy ….so she’s certainly not going to be bored in her partial retirement. I say partial because – thanks be – she is still going to be working with us on a consultancy basis.
So it’s farewell to Liz and farewell almost to 2014. I look forward to being in touch with you all again in 2015 and, meantime, wish you all a very happy and peaceful festive break.