(As Inga McVicar, while working as the Marketing & PR Co-ordinator for Waterstone’s Ireland, Northern Ireland, north-east England and Scotland)
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Launch of the 5th Harry Potter Book – The Order of the Phoenix – with JK Rowling, 2003.
After previously hosting a signing with JK Rowling for the 4th Harry Potter book, Inga McVicar was given the task of organising the world exclusive for the launch of the 5th Harry Potter book, but ...
... without being able to tell anyone (including partner, friends, family, colleagues, branch staff members, or even the school children attending the event) that JK Rowling herself would be appearing at 12.01am to celebrate the 5th instalment of her world-famous series.
That meant arranging a very high-profile event, which required precision and strict care of every detail, without anyone realising what was about to take place:
High level security
Branding for the event area
A school to attend
Entertainment for the children – including magicians, owls, catering and storytelling
Co-ordination of media attendance with JK Rowling’s PR Company (Colman Getty) – without them guessing where the event was about to take place
20 school children met their hero, and had their copies of The Order of the Phoenix signed (which, I understand, were the only 20 books to be signed of that edition by JK Rowling)
JK Rowling celebrated the launch of her new book with her fans, in a safe, calm and enjoyable atmosphere
Media coverage was truly blanket – from UK newspapers to TV and radio, to American, Australian, Indian etc press. Quite simply, everyone reported on this event, and every photo used had the Waterstone’s branding in it