Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi

Real-izing Your Virtual Identity

Do You Believe in Magic? | The Harry Potter Experience

Posted by barbararozgonyi on July 23, 2007

One Million Books

In looking for an image for this post, I found a way to order Harry Potter books on Amazon that lets you contribute to global literacy. Here’s how to do that. The Harry Potter experience coverage follows.

Click on the icon to order your books and Performancing.com [really useful blog for bloggers] will donate $1 to the Global Literacy Project, a charity that focuses on the needs of children around the world by encouraging literacy as a tool to break the cycle of poverty.

From the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows blog . . .

The Global Literacy Project develops community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world primarily through the creation of libraries and library support programs in rural schools and community centers in Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean. The organization was cofounded by two Rutgers University professors Olubayi Olubayi and Denniston Bonadie.

And, now for my personal Harry Potter book release experience . . .

The jokes were corny. The magic was good. The glowsticks worked. It was a wonderful night.

Except . . . I didn’t get a book.

Every day last week, I kept trying to convince our youngest to go to our town’s Harry Potter magic show and party. Being a cynical 12 year old, he would have none of it. Especially the magic part. When it comes to magicians, it’s Criss Angel or nobody for this kid.

Luring him out the door with a promise of a stop at the sweet shop worked. He reluctantly agreed to go, against his better judgment.

Although we’d been to every other Harry Potter party downtown, this one was different.

We were missing someone: our 17-year-old daughter who is off on a mission trip with her other brother. She’s the true Harry Potter fan in the family, the one who’s read every book at least five times, seen every movie and often goes to sleep listening to Harry Potter books on tape.

With no one encouraging me to stay until midnight to get a book, we headed home at 10:30, empty-handed. I resigned myself to read my daughter’s copy when she got home.

But, after reading the all the Harry Potter stories in the Sunday papers, I made up an excuse to run errands and ran out to grab a copy in the late afternoon. At 8:43 this morning, I closed the last chapter on Harry Potter. Now, I feel fulfilled. I know what happens and I can talk about it – but only with others who’ve finished the 759 page book.

Everyone’s Harry Potter experience is personal, yet shared. It’s unlikely that many other books will sell 8.3 million copies in 24 hours. You’re in good, and great, company when you read the books and watch the movies.

For those of you who are wondering if it’s worth reading Deathly Hallows, yes – if you’ve followed the storyline all along. In fact, it’s a must read – if you want to follow pop culture and include the stories in your current personal reference points. Even if you think these are

Putting my marketing/PR sorting hat on, here are the Top Marketing and Public Relations Takeaways from J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, in no particular order . . .

– map out a long-term plan and announce updates as you go along

– transfer your content to multiple formats, including books, audios and videos

– recruit at least two collaborative partners to help you tackle tough challenges

– keep studying, both how to defend yourself against possible dangers [like marketing on only one channel] and how to work magic with your customers

– take up the cause for the oppressed – think house elves on this one

– become a leader and recruit others to follow who want to learn how to make your magic

– audition and hire people who best represent your product, service or writing

– drop in a few strange characters here and there to add interest

– open up multiple channels of distribution: retail, online, partnership promotions and ebay, where appropriate

– give them a story they can’t stop telling

– create a culture based on a customer experience that’s so distinct it distinguishes all competition

– give away some of your secrets, but save the real magic for your best customers

– revive and resurrect interest with formerly dead accounts

– illuminate your way in dark and foreign territories with the help of guides or pertinent knowledge

– join a community of loyal followers and gather at events, such as at local chambers

– ride a dragon when you have to [this strategy also worked for Donkey in Shrek] escape quickly

Especially if you’re working with younger audiences, the stories in the book and movies will resonate with them, probably throughout their lives. Maybe your life, too . . . here’s the trailer for Order of the Phoenix, which my family enjoyed watching in IMAX/3-D.

Want to share your Harry Potter experience? Leave a comment and let’s talk . . .

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