Case study: Berwick Literary Festival marketing strategy

Berwick Literary Festival marketing strategy

Berwick Literary Festival is an annual event that brings together acclaimed local, national and international authors to discuss their work. From schools to care homes, its talks and events engage readers of every age and taste. 

I was lucky enough to be an official blogger in 2016 and had a fantastic weekend sharing stories from the heart of the festival. So, when the steering group asked for my help with the marketing strategy for the 2021 festival, I jumped at the chance to get involved.  

The client

Berwick Literary Festival Steering Group

The brief

Berwick Literary Festival was forced to move events online in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While this presented many challenges, it also gave more people the chance to engage with the festival – including audiences across the globe. 

The steering group wanted to develop a marketing strategy for 2021 to capitalise on its broader reach, and to explore the opportunities of a hybrid festival that offered a mixed programme of events and online activities. 

The work

I facilitated a one-hour workshop with the steering group to define its objectives and audiences. We set SMART objectives for the 2021 festival and created profiles for the specific audiences the steering group wanted to reach. 

Using the objectives and audience profiles, I created a list of channels and media platforms to target for marketing and PR activity. I used the PESO model to identify paid, earned, shared and owned channels that could work together in a holistic marketing strategy. 

This research and planning activity ensured the steering group could talk to the right people, in the right places with the right messages to support its strategic aims for the 2021 festival. 

What the client said

“Moving the Festival online at short notice in 2020 challenged us to reach our audience, but the outcome showed us the enormous potential reach of the Festival whatever the format. 

“We asked Dawn (not least for her existing knowledge of Berwick Literary Festival) to work with us to plan out how our promotion could develop systematically. We are very glad we did, as the uncertainty about live events in 2021 compelled us to run a second online event, with all that means about attracting a worldwide audience. 

“Starting with the workshop to explore our knowledge and ambitions, Dawn helped us develop our thinking and (importantly) build upon our 2020 experience and knowledge. She provided an extensive blueprint for future promotion that we are now working through, and which will challenge us beyond 2021. 

“Working with Dawn was an easy and sympathetic process and the benefits will be clear in the coming years.”

Michael Gallico

Chair, Berwick Literary Festival Steering Group

Discover more about Berwick Literary Festival at www.berwickliteraryfestival.com