Chambers Dictionary packshot

Chambers English Dictionary
12th Edition

Published by Chambers

The Chambers Dictionary delves deep into all the glories of the English language, listing weird and wonderful words like spoffishjobernowlmulligrubs and humdudgeon, all the while ensuring it covers the latest developments in English. Meticulously researched and expertly written, the highly acclaimed Chambers range has been at the forefront of presenting knowledge and learning in an engaging and accessible way since it was first established in the 19th century.

The challenge

When I undertook this campaign in 2011, Dictionaries weren’t widely covered by the media. I think that my PR approach – mostly pitching current affairs stories around new words – contributed to changing this state of affairs and, as mentioned in the description of my campaign for Collins English Dictionary, when I oversaw the latter campaign in 2014, articles about new and strange words had become commonplace.

My campaign was instrumental in positioning Chambers Dictionary as the number two Dictionary in the UK. Please see graph about weekly sales (source: Nielsen):

Dictionary sales chart

Chambers Chart key


The solution

As mentioned, collaborate with the publisher to define many current/original topics for media pitches. Also, think laterally so as to target a wide spectrum of relevant media.

The result

The Dictionary was widely reviewed across all media, from national newspapers – among others, John Walsh at The Independent wrote a long piece, Robert McCrum at The Observer also dedicated an article, and Times columnist Giles Coren wrote a column about the 3 main contenders in the Dictionary realm – and national magazines (including current affairs weekly The Spectator, literary weekly The TLS, and musical monthly The Wire) to many influential blogs such as BBC News Online, The Economist’s Johnson Blog (now ceased), and the Huffington Post UK.

My great claim to glory (apart from the campaign’s overall resounding success) is to have ushered the very angular Chambers into The Sun newspaper, notoriously interested in curves!