I must admit — when I was given this blog title, I spent a while scratching my head and wondering how I could possibly dream up the perfect PR account. I enjoy working with a variety of clients for many different reasons, and they’re all so diverse that wrapping up their best qualities into one idyllic PR package feels almost impossible.
So instead, I set my sights outside the realm of possibility and quickly settled on my literal dream account: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Can you imagine a more exciting – or challenging – PR client?!
First and foremost, given that it’s entirely a figment of J. K. Rowling’s imagination, it fulfils the “dream” criteria perfectly. And secondly, Scriba does specialise in technical PR for niche clients with complex stories – so you could argue that a magical school would be right up our street!
To put my idea to the test, I decided to pit it against the characteristics of a perfect client, based on a list from our friends at PRmoment.com. Here’s how it measured up:
Has an interesting story to tell
Check! See the best-selling series of novels and blockbuster movies centred around it — not to mention the numerous video games, spin-off books and theme parks. Plus, it has a rich history, with some secrets undoubtedly still lying undiscovered – perfect PR material!
Understands what PR can achieve and has realistic expectations
While my experience of crisis communications has not yet involved having to defend the discovery of a three-headed dog on a client’s premises, I can’t imagine it’s that easy. The same goes for a deadly serpent, a mountain troll, a giant, a werewolf, man-eating spiders and a dark lord – I’m not sure even the most carefully orchestrated PR campaign would cut it.
Probably. Having touched on some of the challenges, I can imagine that the school would be very grateful for any positive publicity to distract from their worrying health and safety oversights and various questionable employment decisions. I’d expect an invite to one of the great feasts at the very least.
Is committed to the PR process and makes quick decisions
Unlikely. The disappearing tendencies of certain senior members of staff might make pinning down a reliable point of contact problematic. And with deep-seated conflicts amongst the teachers, the approvals process is bound to be a tricky one too.
Tells its PR agency the truth
Highly unlikely, given the high frequency of indiscretions. Luckily, in the wizarding world, there’s veritaserum for that…
Values opportunities over minimising risk
Absolutely. The publicity-laden Triwizard Tournament took place despite inherent dangers to the welfare of pupils, with the aim of strengthening international relations. And despite its obvious health and safety risks, the continued popularity of quidditch presents a lot of PR potential.
Is enthusiastic about the partnership
How could they not be? Condemnatory media coverage from the Daily Prophet and smear stories from Rita Skeeter mean there’s a lot of bad PR to undo. What with the school becoming a battleground on numerous occasions and a secret passage to the local pub being formed by a band of vigilante students, it’s a wonder parents are still letting their children attend! They need all the help they can get.
Well, I think it goes without saying that reality is where this dream falls apart. Perhaps it’s better to stick with the world of non-magical PR for now…