Lethal Communications are arts publicists and strategic marketing consultants based in the North West of England. Our expertise lies in delivering high profile campaigns in a sensitive, honest way using insight and integrity for every project. We have a great understanding of strategic planning for media campaigns in the museums sector and for city events with particular experience on working on high profile, city-wide festivals, such as Liverpool Capital of Culture.
As national media relations specialists based in the Northwest, we are close to our clients and have an understanding of the challenges of getting metropolitan-based media to cover content in the regions.
You can contact us at cat(at)we-r-lethal(dot)com or she(at)we-r-lethal(dot)com
Catharine Braithwaite has 18 years experience in arts marketing communications. She has particular experience of working in the visual arts and museums sector.
Her clients since becoming a consultant cover the breadth of the museums sector in the North West (and a little further) including Imperial War Museum North, Tate Liverpool, FACT Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, The Lowry Salford, Cornerhouse Manchester, Harris Museum & Art Gallery Preston, Art Sheffield, Bury Art Gallery, Museum + Archive, Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester, Project Base Cornwall, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance Art Gallery, Compton Verney, MOSI Manchester, Text Festival Bury, Asia Triennial Manchester 2008 and Liverpool Biennial.
In 2007-2008 she worked on a series of ambitious public realm works commissioned for Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture including the award-winning Turning the Place Over as well as heading up the media relations for the biggest Liverpool Biennial to date. She recently worked on the launch of Dream, a major new sculptural commission with Channel 4, The Art Fund, Arts Council England and St.Helens Council. In 2010 she worked with The Whitworth on Subversive Spaces and a new commission for the gallery by Gregor Schneider, on the second Text Festival in Bury and promoted a new cultural publication Corridor 8. She is currently working with Manchester Museum Consortium on the creative tourist campaign and is handling a new campaign for Liverpool Biennial 2010. She continues to work on exhibition promotion with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and Bury Art Gallery.
Catharine Braithwaite is a Trustee of Cornerhouse Manchester, on the board of Great Northern Events and an advisor to International 3 in Manchester. She is also Visiting Lecturer in Marketing for MA Museums and Galleries Studies at University of Leicester, a position she has held since 2002.
Before becoming an independent consultant she worked in press and marketing for 3 years at Manchester Art Galleries. At Tate Liverpool as deputy of the Communications team, she was responsible for the high profile launch of the newly developed gallery and was part of the press team who worked on the launch and opening press days of Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
Shelagh Bourke has over 25 years experience in arts marketing and communications, specialising in the performing arts and events.
She was recently part of the award-winning communications team, which delivered the two-year campaign for Liverpool 08. During the Liverpool 08 campaign she led on a wide range of campaigns including the 2008 Opening with Ringo Starr, the World Premiere of Jimmy McGovern’s King Cotton, RIBA’s Le Corbusier exhibition at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, the ground-breaking production of Dreamthinkspeak at Liverpool Cathedral, the Taverner Requiem, Sir Simon Rattle’s homecoming concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Liverpool Streets Ahead and The Viennese Balls at St George’s Hall.
Her clients include Manchester City Council Events Unit, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Mersey Television, the opening of The Lowry Salford, the Library Theatre Company, Lancaster University, The Cervantes Institute and Slung Low, a cutting-edge theatre company who have recently appeared at The Barbican, The Almeida and The Lowry. Recently she has been responsible for Manchester’s Christmas PR campaign including the Christmas Lights Switch On and Manchester Christmas Markets, where she has worked on the PR campaign from the beginning of the markets in 1999.
For three consecutive festivals she worked as an independent publicist at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, promoting a wide range of productions including music, comedy and drama. She also set up and ran the press operation for Pod Deco, a major new fringe venue.
Before becoming freelance in 1998, her work included running a busy press office for the Tyneside International Film Festival and Royal Exchange Theatre Company. She also held the position of Senior Press Officer on a 22-venue tour of the UK for the Royal Shakespeare Company in association with commercial producers Duncan C. Weldon. For three years she headed up the marketing department at one of the country’s number one touring houses, The Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne, working with performers of the highest calibre, major ballet and opera companies including the RSC, the Royal National Theatre and Scottish Opera.
She is currently a consultant for international PR agency Weber Shandwick.
In partnership as Lethal Communications arts publicists, they have handled cultural tourism PR for the 2002 Manchester Liverpool Cultural campaign, Commonwealth Games festival Cultureshock and The Quays: Greater Manchester’s Waterfront in addition to a short lead campaign for The Manchester Museum’s re-launch in 2003. In 2004, as well as a full media drive for CowParade Manchester, they managed a national media campaign for the UK touring photographic exhibition, Time & Tide. In 2005, they delivered campaigns for the 20th anniversary of Cornerhouse Manchester, Mysterious Bog People exhibition at MOSI Manchester and for the Manchester Poetry Festival. They were also publicists for Fivearts cities in Newcastle Gateshead and Liverpool, a major two year campaign for national broadcasters Five and Arts Council England. Over the past two years Lethal Communications ran a series of successful campaigns for Chester Festivals and Manchester Literature Festival, including the English premiere of Margaret Atwood’s unique performance event.