Publisher drops agency after 'broken promises'

Publishing house Cyan Books has ditched Raft PR from its main account after several authors accused the agency of overpromising on the coverage it could deliver.

Brighton-based Raft – which is run by MD Adrian Weston – has been removed from Cyan's principal account and replaced with Sheffield-based MK Communications.

Weston had personally been handling the launch of David Kean's How Not to Come Second: The Art of Winning Business Pitches.

Weston promised the author 17 pieces of coverage, including articles in the Financial Times and The Times. So far, none has appeared.

‘There was a litany of broken promises. One by one the promised articles disappeared,' Kean told PRWeek. ‘You only get one chance at the launch of a book.'

Two further authors on Cyan's roster also told PRWeek that expectations had been mismanaged. ‘We were disappointed by the coverage promised compared with the coverage we actually received,' said one.

Weston responded: ‘It is a very unfortunate situation. David Kean wrote a good book, but the biggest problem we have in this sector of the [PR] industry is review slots being cut. It was freakily coincidental.' Weston said the other authors' concerns were a matter for Cyan.

A Times article in April claimed Raft promised author Valerie Mason-John national newspaper coverage and TV slots for her book, Detox Your Heart (published by Windhorse Publications), but only delivered a handful of local-radio interviews.

Weston then admitted Raft ‘messed up completely' on this occasion, adding that the member of staff involved had since left the company. Raft continues to work with Cyan on its serialisation account.

Cyan said: ‘We took the decision to appoint MK after an internal review of our business objectives.'

It added: ‘We recognise that one or two of our authors were dissatisfied with Raft, but we publish over 50 books each year, so this represents a tiny minority. Overall we were very pleased with the results they achieved.'

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