PRH recently welcomed Anthony Key as our new director of multicultural marketing. In this Q&A, we’ll get to know Key, his vision for PRH and publishing as a whole, and his dedication to the pursuit of getting books into the hands of all readers.
This is your first role in the publishing industry. What have you seen other industries doing well that we can learn from and adopt?
Any industry that has placed an emphasis on growth has been very intentional about putting consumer needs and interests at the center of everything they do. They have really focused on technology, data, and insights to create a more personalized relationship with the consumer, leading to bottom-line growth. I see Penguin Random House is on this path as we work to identify the right place, right time, and right message to connect with our audience segments. As we continue to think about growth, a lesson from other industries has been to include diverse audience insights within their overarching messaging and outreach and then layer that with specific campaigns that place the spotlight on multicultural audiences, as the cherry on top.
What’s the main thing authors should know about multicultural marketing?
Multicultural marketing is just marketing to audiences of different ethnicities and cultures that we have not traditionally focused on, giving them an opportunity to discover our authors’ amazing work.
Last month Penguin Random House launched Amplify Black Stories. Can you talk about this campaign and how you see it evolving throughout the year?
I am truly excited about the launch of #AmplifyBlackStories. We are steadfast in our commitment to celebrate Black history all year long, and the goal of this campaign is to introduce more stories by Black authors to a diverse group of readers. We want to raise the profiles of Black authors both familiar and new who are helping to create a more complete cultural narrative—from nonfiction centered on social justice and self-improvement to romance and science fiction.
We are featuring titles across eleven categories (such as Making History and Making Waves) in the #AmplifyBlackStories hub, and the title list continues to grow. Alongside the hub, we’ll be featuring new and existing content by and about our authors, including book lists, Q&As, and a video series on why it is important to #AmplifyBlackStories.
This is only the beginning, as we have partnered with Rolling Out, a news and entertainment brand with deep roots in the Black community. They are providing us with access to key influencers, including celebrities, educators, and community leaders, who will celebrate the works of Black authors. Together we will stage virtual events throughout the year to promote our great authors as well as provide access to aspiring Black creators.
We will continue to evolve and grow this effort with new partners, both in the book world and beyond, in the name of producing more great content that amplifies the stories of our authors.
What are your team’s main priorities for 2021?
The team’s umbrella priority for 2021 is to ensure inclusive experiences across all our marketing efforts. In order to achieve this, we are developing a multicultural marketing playbook as a resource for marketers across the company to create inclusive marketing plans. Ultimately, the team is focused on inviting diverse audiences into the Penguin Random House universe by identifying and leveraging multicultural consumer interests in all our campaigns.
What do you see as the greatest opportunity for multicultural marketing within the publishing industry?
Multicultural marketing should be seen as an engine for growth. The publishing industry has an opportunity to grow engagement with our books and authors by reaching out to and connecting with new and diverse audiences. When we extend that personal invitation to multicultural audiences, it can result in a loyal, passionate, and influential group of readers who will stay with us for a lifetime.
Kelsey Manning is Associate Director, Marketing at Penguin Random House.