CONGO TALES (Random House / Prestel, November 2018)
Congo Tales is a photo series book of Congolese from the Mbomo District acting out their mythologies in the Odzala Kokoua National Park. The book was photographed by celebrity portrait photographer Pieter Henket (Lady Gaga, Eddie Redmayne, Mary J. Blige), and it was edited by Dutch film producer Eva Vonk and German film producer Stefanie Plattner.
5 years in the making, involving dozens of Congolese contributors and researchers, Congo Tales was intended to bring attention to the Congo rainforest — second only in size to the Amazon — and the people who live there, in a totally new way.
Nutter Media was brought on to launch the PR campaign for Congo Tales 6 weeks prior to publication in the States. Nutter Media developed a strategy to position the book with climate change, as well as introduce it as a project on par with the work of Joseph Campbell. Nutter Media then targeted major news organizations as well as high profile visual design and photography media.
Media coverage that ensued included a lengthy story in the New York Times Review of Books, bringing global attention to Congo Tales. The Times then reprinted the story on the cover of the Arts section of the paper. The story was then picked up by the New York Times International Edition, which published the story on the front page of the paper, and almost all of A2, making Congo Tales a global news story. Media coverage also included lengthy interviews on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and BBC Radio, as well as excerpts, reviews and interviews in global visual design media such as It’s Nice That, Ignant, My Modern Met, De Morgan, Geo, and Focus. In July, 2019, 8 months after publication, PBS News Hour broadcast a lengthy segment on the book and the related short film, The Little Fish and the Crocodile.
As a function of the PR coverage, Congo Tales was also promoted on the above media’s social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram numbers reaching over 40 million followers in total.
Random House sold out in January, 2019, and Congo Tales went into a second printing that Spring.