Food photographer David Griffen published The New West Country Cookbook in autumn 2013 as a showcase for his work. 17 leading chefs from across the South West contributed recipes and David travelled across the region to photograph each dish, then wrote and designed the 320 page book.

Barefoot worked with David Griffen on a PR campaign to promote sales of his book, The New West Country Cookbook. We were also tasked to raise his profile as a leading food photographer in the UK and channel new client work with top chefs outside the South West, national food publications, and chef cookbooks.

Strategy and tactics

David Griffen's new west country cookbook coverThe book was conceived as a showcase for a photographer, so we had over 300 pages of photography and recipe content to offer to the media.

Our strategy to drive sales was to secure reviews of the book, and place more significant features using recipe content so people could try out the recipes for themselves before buying. Featuring an image of the book cover and website URL in the coverage was a priority.

Pitches were tailored to the media’s needs, with regional publications throughout the South West offered recipes from chefs local to them.

We sent PDF samples of the book to long-lead journalists before printed copies were delivered. Physical copies were sent to 12 influential food journalists because we felt the quality and tactile nature of the book would increase the likelihood of coverage.

Inclusion in high-quality food publications was important for David to raise his profile and generate new business leads. We aimed for significant features in print media that would showcase his work, combining reader offers and competition prizes. Features were generally recipe-led and sold in on the strength of the photography. With so much strong content on offer we felt able to negotiate inclusion of key messages such as driving people to David’s website.

Implementation

We drafted and distributed a press release with quotes from David Griffen and well-known chefs from the book, Nathan Outlaw and Tom Kerridge. This was used to generate interest ahead of the publication date and supplied as supporting information for journalists when pitching.

Images from the book were made available on the Barefoot Media press centre, giving easy access to the media and enabling us to track the number of downloads.

Individual pitches to regional media and specialist food titles took place on a rolling basis. Advance copies were air-freighted to us so we could still send review copies to long-lead titles in time for pre-Christmas deadlines.

David held a ‘thank you’ event for chefs, proof readers and other collaborators. We developed the format of the event, a winter beach barbecue, to pitch to The Guardian Cook supplement for their ‘Get Togethers’ feature, who commissioned the piece and sent their own photographer.

Coverage

Coast-press-for-David-GriffenThe campaign generated 40 pieces of coverage with opportunities to view of over 8 million. This included features in Coast, Olive and The Guardian. Of these pieces…

  • 90% used photography from the book
  • 56% used an image of the book cover
  • 59% included a link to the website
  • 17 significant pieces using one or more recipes and images
  • 917 image downloads from our press centre

 

Results

As a direct result of the campaign, the book was stocked by Waterstones across the South West. The entire print run of the book sold out within 18 months of publication.

David has since been commissioned to shoot three more cook books including one for the chef Michael Caines.

Client comment

“Barefoot provided me with a clear strategy and road map for the campaign before the work began, and followed this plan, effectively achieving the goals set out.

My main aim with the marketing was to use the book as a vehicle to reach a greater audience outside Cornwall. As a direct result I am getting more bookings and enquiries from higher end businesses. It’s helped me to become really specialised and the PR has been a big part of that.”

“Barefoot provided me with a clear strategy and road map for the campaign."


917

image downloads from our press centre


 

90%

used photography from the book