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Spring has finally sprung...

I spent a lovely sunny week in Barbados mid-month and was thrilled when I touched down again at Heathrow, expecting grey skies, to feel a definite sense of Spring in the air …

It’s been every bit as buzzy here at Four Colman Getty. Our year has off to a high energy start, not least with the news that our long term client, Jeffrey Archer, has achieved an extraordinary feat.

Be Careful What You Wish For, the fourth novel in his Clifton Chronicles series, has scored six number ones in four continents.  Ruth and Liz coordinated a global campaign with the Pan Macmillan PR & Marketing teams which resulted in number ones in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

In the USA, the book went straight in at number 3 in the New York Times bestseller list, Jeffrey’s highest new entry for over 10 years.  It is also sitting at number 2 in Canada. Alongside traditional media outlets, the 73 year old author, who starts writing at 6.00am every morning, has being doing Google Hangouts, Flipkart chats and Twitter Q&As.

ShaoLan, author of Chineasy the revolutionary new system for learning Chinesehas also demonstrated the power of social media this month. Backing up her digital presence, we’ve been hard at work on an extensive  print and broadcast media campaign  - so I hope you’ve either read about or heard her – for example in The Sunday Times, Metro, Management Today, The Economist, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and speaking to  Robert Elms on his BBC Radio London show…..

Chineasy has been nominated in the Graphics category of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year exhibition, now open at the Southbank and, after a hectic week in New York and Vancouver, ShaoLan has made several London appearances, including at the Apple store on Regent Street.

Over the summer Chineasy flashcards and an app will be launched - so you’ll definitely be hearing more about this brilliant woman and her vision to break down ‘the Great Wall of Chinese’.

Our campaigning team has this month been working with MD, Hilary Strong, and the team at RLJ Entertainment and Acorn Productions Ltd on corporate profiling as the company continues to develop the Christie brand across the publishing, digital, and film/TV platforms to become a major player in British drama production.

And they have also happily picked up our relationship with Dame Barbara Stocking, who used to head up OXFAM and has recently become the first alumna to take up the role of President of Murray Edwards College.

The Cambridge women’s College, formerly New Hall, kicked off its 60th anniversary celebrations with a report exploring women's views on their life and careers post-graduation.  Almost 1,000 of the College's alumnae took part in the research, which has found that by far the biggest challenge women have faced is a non-supportive working culture. We worked on an exclusive with The Independent and subsequently secured coverage in The Times,Cambridge News, a blog from Barbara on the Huffington Post and from journalist Dina Medland.

Back on the cultural front, a new client for Four Colman Getty this year is the Canal & River Trust who took us on in January to launch their 2014 contemporary arts programme, Arts on the Waterways.

The initiative was first launched in 2012, thanks to major backing from Arts Council England, as a way of attracting more supporters and engaging more people with the beauty – and grit – of the canals and waterways across the England and Wales.  So far, through Arts on the Waterways, the Canal & River Trust has appointed its first ever Canal Laureate, commissioned street art by a group of international artists and worked with the Royal Opera House to stage a water-based performance of The Owl and the Pussycat.

We launched Arts On The Waterways mid month with a press event with guests including Canal Laureate, Jo Bell; curator Megan Piper and artist Mark Wallinger, who talked about their plans for a new sculpture exhibition along the Greenwich meridian called The Line. BAFTA award-winning composer and sound artist Kaffe Matthews then described her canal-inspired, immersive sound work, which will be launched at IF: Milton Keynes International Festival in the summer.

We are working increasingly out of London, for example with HOME, the new centre for visual art, theatre and film in Manchester.  The centre reached an important milestone with a Topping Out ceremony last week  - Truda tells you more about it in her blog post.

This time last year we were revving on all cylinders in the lead up to the Penguin launch of Charles Moore’s authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher. So it was good to come back to the news that Charles has just won the Paddy Power Political Book of The Year award for his book.

Beating off stiff competition from Alan Johnson's childhood memoir, This Boy, and Perilous Question by Antonia Fraser, Charles was awarded a cheque for

£10,000 and in his acceptance speech warned his publisher that “the second book might take a little longer"…

We’re delighted to be working this year, again for the first time, with Charleston Festival which will run from 16-26 May. We’re leading with a launch at the Royal Academy to announce this year’s programme: Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Dawkins, Grayson Perry and Alan Bennett are just a few of the high-profile names speaking at the Festival which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Set up to reflect the intellectual and creative ideals of Bloomsbury Group artists, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, the original inhabitants of Charleston, the Festival retains its distinctive sense of intimacy and unique cultural context.   Do visit if you can – you won’t be disappointed!

That’s it for March, but more next month!


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