The Tap-Dancing Pigeon of Covent Garden: Marketing to the Little Ones

By   Hannah Bickerton 2 min read

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When author Serena Hassan approached whitefox with a children’s manuscript on the connection between single-use plastic and climate change, she was on a mission to lead young readers to environmental consciousness. 

Among the marketing challenges unique to children’s books is the overabundance of content and fierce competition. Within Serena’s particular category, for example, polar bears are crowding the children’s bookshelves as a symbol of climate change. Serena didn’t want her book to blend into the crowd of other books of the same kind. Most of all, she wanted to encourage young readers to look beyond their polar bear picture books and right on their doorstep. This is how The Tap-Dancing Pigeon of Covent Garden was born.

In addition to editorial and design services, whitefox equipped Serena with an experienced PR and sales team, proving essential to ensure her important message reached young readers and their parents. 

Reaching younger audiences directly can be a tricky process because your readers are not your buyers. Therefore the challenge here was to not only stand out in a saturated market but to employ a promotional campaign that emotionally appealed to the adult gatekeepers who controlled the purse strings with content that was designed for children. The approach was a playful content strategy that leant on the stunning visual assets from the book and a publicity campaign anchored around Serena’s wider message, targeting selective media channels.

Working with illustrator Jon Davis, The Tap-Dancing Pigeon of Covent Garden was brought to life with charming illustrations. As an additional touch, Jon created some complementary graphics for Serena to use on social media to directly attract parents and children’s book industry distribution channels, such as schools and children’s libraries. And it didn’t stop there. Not losing sight of her double audience, fun little videos were commissioned and shared, acting as engaging book trailers to entertain both parent and child alike. 

whitefox’s publicity partners, Midas, recognized the opportunity to enter the wider discussion on climate change as a launchpad for the book, using their extensive network to get The Tap-Dancing Pigeon of Covent Garden onto multiple digital platforms, such as BookBrunch and The Wordicle. Since its publication, the book has gained wide coverage on radio, social media, in magazines and even on Sky News Live and BBC Radio London! Offline, Serena keeps spreading the word all over the country, where she talks to children about climate change in bookstores, schools and libraries. All this shows that with a promotional strategy perfectly tailored to the book’s audience that is executed creatively, incredible results can be achieved.

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.