Firm News

Magical Lessons from Harry Potter

April 19, 2018

What Communicators can Learn from the Wizarding World

It’s been nearly two decades since J.K. Rowling released the first American publication of the “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” To celebrate its 20th anniversary, each book will be re-released June 26th with seven brand-new covers designed and illustrated by Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator, Brian Selznick.

In anticipation, many people are revisiting the magic and reflecting on the memories and the lessons learned along the way. Throughout these past 19 years, we’ve learned that bravery can come in many forms, it’s okay to ask for help and that facing your fears can help you realize just what you’re made of. These lessons, along with many more from the Wizarding World can also be applied to the wonderful world of PR. Here’s what we can take away from the magic that is Harry Potter.

Always have a plan.

Planning is an essential piece of PR. It involves not only research, but understanding a problem and implementing a strategy designed to solve it. In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” we see just how not having a plan can be detrimental. Harry didn’t have a plan when finding the remaining horcruxes which left Ron frustrated and Hermione hopeless. However, when Harry and Hermione made plans to go to Godric's Hollow the mission gets back on track. Planning adequately can prove the difference between a campaign’s success and failure.

Be aware of your competition.

Just like any field, competition is necessary. It’s important to not only be aware of what your competition is doing or not doing, but also how you measure up. In order to succeed as a wizard, Harry had play Quidditch and to play Quidditch he first had to learn how to fly a broomstick. During his first flying lesson, instructor Madam Hooch had to leave the class unattended when Neville Longbottom fell from his broomstick. While she was away, Draco Malfoy flew off with a Remembrall that Neville left. Harry wanted to prove that he could fly just like Malfoy and recover the Remembrall and that, he did. For communicators, if their competitors are flying, they need to fly as well. Sometimes being cognizant of competitors can present opportunities to capitalize on and allow organizations to reflect on ways they can improve.

Collaboration is key.

The people on your team are your most important asset. Without Hermione’s wit and knowledge, Harry and Ron may not have survived and without the help from Aberforth, Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix none of them may have made it. Each character in the series had varying strengths and weaknesses but without them the story wouldn’t be the same. Within organizations worldwide there are members who come from differing backgrounds and each brings different skills, viewpoints and ideas. When working together to develop strategies or execute plans, these members can help to foster creativity, growth and success. By choosing to not work effectively together, opportunities for clients may be missed.

Photo Credit: "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" by Diana Kelly, licensed under CC 2.0.