JPR wins pitch for WHSmith awards

WHSmith has handed its Book Awards 2002 PR brief to consumer

consultancy Joe Public Relations.

JPR won the nine-month project, which starts on 1 September, following a

five-way competitive pitch.

WHSmith used Biss Lancaster for PR surrounding its inaugural Book

Awards, held in March this year.

The 2001 awards marked the first book prize to be voted for by the

public, with more than 65,000 votes cast.

Winners of the nine categories in the debut book awards included Irish

novelist Maeve Binchy and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

JPR director Fiona Jennings leads the account for the 2002 awards,

heading a team of four.

Reporting to WHSmith Book Awards manager Elizabeth Walker, JPR will

handle all planning and publicity for the awards and manage the awards

ceremony, set to take place in March 2002.

Walker said: 'We are looking for them to be strong strategic advisers

throughout the process.'

JPR managing director Matthew Wood said: 'WHSmith wants to improve on

last year and get more people voting and really reflect the WHSmith

brand, integrating awareness through the brand.'

JPR is also aiming to broaden the appeal of the awards and attract mass

market attention.

In 2000, the WHSmith Book Awards were revamped to include public voting

for the 2001 awards. People could vote online, by post or in WHSmith


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