Using PR to raise awareness of PAPER's reopening post-Covid

A successful regional media campaign helped put PAPER gallery on the map as an arts and culture venue to visit following lockdown

P APER is an artist-led, commercial gallery based in Manchester. It showcases the work of emerging and mid-career artists whose practice is based around the medium of paper. Established in August 2012, the gallery runs a regular programme of exhibitions, has participated in numerous national and international art fairs, and regularly collaborates with other galleries and project spaces. PAPER recently launched an online contemporary art magazine, the Fourdrinier.

Fourth Day has worked with PAPER since 2018, helping to raise awareness of the gallery and promote its exhibitions.

During the Covid-19 national lockdown, galleries such as PAPER were forced to close. The lockdown restrictions did huge damage to Manchester’s cultural scene, with independent galleries like PAPER amongst the worst hit. When PAPER was allowed to reopen, it was vital to let people know in order to get visitors through the door.

We worked closely with PAPER to partner with some of Manchester’s definitive cultural guides and ‘what’s on’ lists, helping to establish the gallery as a go-to location for those visiting the city post-lockdown.

We raised awareness of the reopening and two new exhibitions – ‘Property of Neutral’ by Ruofan Chen, and ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ by Foday Kabba. Our aim was to demonstrate to visitors that PAPER was back with a bang – and that, as a Covid-secure venue, it was safe to visit.

“During a difficult year, Fourth Day’s activity has been vital in ensuring the gallery’s continued success. The media coverage they secured has helped PAPER to successfully reopen and return our visitor traffic to normal levels as quickly as possible, supporting the gallery and our artists. In fact visitor numbers exceeded our usual visitor figures!”
David Hancock director of PAPER gallery

At a glance:

  • Visitor levels exceeded pre-lockdown figures Despite Covid-19 and local lockdowns
  • Raised awareness Interest generated from media coverage allowed the gallery to successfully re-open


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We were able to raise awareness of PAPER’s reopening within the media, drawing attention to the new exhibitions and putting the gallery back on the map.

Media coverage highlights – We secured the gallery’s inclusion as part of a list by Manchester Confidential (a ‘what’s on’-style publication of attractions reopening in Manchester), alongside other major Manchester museums and galleries, including the Imperial War Museum North and Manchester Art Gallery. Creative Tourist also included PAPER’s reopening exhibitions among its ‘top pick’ exhibitions in the North.


Successful reopening – Despite local lockdowns and other challenges, PAPER’s director, David Hancock reported Saturday footfall numbers were exceeding pre-pandemic levels following the reopening.

Media coverage

  • Manchester arts and culture – what’s reopening when?

    An updated list of museums, galleries, cinemas, libraries and performance venues Manchester Confidentials

  • Paper Gallery announces reopening dates with two new exhibitions to explore

    Manchester city centre art space Paper Gallery has finally announced its reopening dates, complete with two new exhibitions to explore when it returns Manchester Wire

  • Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

    Here are some of the exhibitions we’re most looking forward to when restrictions lift, plus a few to check out online Creative Tourist