A self-published book about graffiti knitting. It doesn’t sound the most likely broadcast PR story. But the book Lockdown Letterboxes, featuring people who knitted toppers to brighten up Britain’s letterboxes, was a big hit on national and regional, radio and television.
Journalist and author Belinda Goldsmith was inspired to write the book after spotting the yarn bombing craze that engulfed the nation during the coronavirus lockdowns. The book features sixteen knitters from across the UK, one for every month of lockdown. The book shows how they’d each coped with the pandemic. All money raised went to the charity YoungMinds. We worked pro bono.
Our strategy was to maximise the wealth of local case studies featured in the book. From beach toppers in Devon, VE Day tributes in Buckinghamshire and even a knitted speed camera in Essex, there was something of local interest in areas right round the UK.
Nationally we stressed the quirkiness of the story and how this contrasted with the more serious tales about problems the people featured in the book had faced during the pandemic.
The biggest challenge was probably logistically, liaising with so many different case studies, each with a different story to tell. None had been involved with the media before, so careful briefing was critical.
It would have been easy to let journalists just do a story about knitting, but we needed to get them to refer back to the book too. Suggesting where national TV could film (ensuring each broadcaster got a different location and knitters), including places where Belinda could naturally show the book, helped overcome this.
Coverage included ITV’s teatime news, BBC Breakfast, Channel 5 News and BBC Radio 5 Live. In addition to this there was a broad selection of regional radio station, BBC Radio London and ten other BBC stations amongst them. In all there were 37 opportunities with an audience of over 24 million. On the day the national TV stations broadcast the story, this self published book got into Amazon’s photo book best seller list.
“The team at Shout Communications was professional, effective, and great to work with. Their knowledge and reach across the broadcast world was remarkable. The publicity they managed to get for a small, self-published book was astonishing. Highly recommended this stellar team.” Belinda Goldsmith, author.
Listen to some of our radio coverage here: