Profile: Tom Ffiske, Communications Director

The Quidditch Premier League is picking up steam, and we’re all getting ready to #ChangeTheGame! But it wouldn’t be possible without an amazing team to help. We’re going to be sitting down with some of our volunteers over the next few months and give you a chance to get to know them!
 
First up, we have Tom Ffiske. Our Communications Director, Tom is a veritable PR guru, working for QuidditchUK, Porter Novelli, and running his own VR trends blog, Virtual Perceptions.
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Tom Ffiske is the QPL’s Communications Director | Photo credit: Christy Kuu
QPL: So Tom, what’s your day-to-day job within the QPL?
 
Tom Ffiske: I’d break it down into 5 points:
1) Panic
2) Panic
3) Send emails and do calls
4) Change the perceptions of quidditch in the UK to make quidditch be seen as a serious sport
5) Panic
 
QPL: Sounds stressful! Why did you join the QPL?
 
Tom: It’s a nice initiative which is doing something differently, and with the success of MLQ it’s also another great way of progressing quidditch generally speaking.
 
QPL: You’ve been behind some of the most extensive coverage of the sport ever. When did you realise it had blown up during the QPL launch?
 
Tom: Oh god yeah, that was a stressful day! It was when I was googling quidditch and seeing it keep spreading… it was a bit insane. Seeing the American media comment on it being widespread in the UK media made me proud as a UK PR. I couldn’t be prouder of the team’s work and co-operation. Though I did collapse at the end of the day in bed!

QPL: Some much deserved rest! But the coverage hasn’t stopped there, and that’s largely driven by you. What advice would you give to other organisations that want to make an impact?
 
Tom: That’s… actually a really good question! Probably audacity and being adamant while considering what they want. You want to actively approach people with enthusiasm, but make sure you say how you want to be represented. In my mind, not all news is good news – I would much rather have one solid article on quidditch than ten shoddy ones. It’s all about application for changing perceptions. Slow progress, but its been great progress.
QPL: What are the changes you’ve seen in coverage of the sport? And how would you change the wider strategy of the sport’s PR – should organisations be working more closely together?
 
Tom: Volume is a slight change, but definitely also the attitude of SOME journalists who approach us. Such as the BBC World Service in Sheffield recently – very passionate and very interested in the sport. We will always have journalists who see the HP side, and I would say it would take a generation or two for that to change.
 
As for organisations – absolutely. I would love to do an international campaign to show how progressive the sport is. That is my dream. One day.

QPL: Last question! You don’t play yourself; but you pour your passion and talents into a particular job in the sport. Do you find that your experience with PR in quidditch has helped you in your career growth in PR generally?
 
Tom: I’m going to answer the first part – no, I don’t play the sport anymore. I used to – I used to love it – but times change and different priorities come up. I may dip into it again one day, but for now I’m really enjoying the administrational aspect and I want to keep going with that. Will Tom Ffiske ever play quidditch again? Maybe. But even if I do, I’m not that great a player!
 
And oh goodness yes, it’s helped with my career a lot! It’s certainly turned a few heads. It’s now a question of persistence and late nights after work – so let’s see what happens!

QPL: Thanks for chatting to us – and good luck!
We’ll be making these profiles a regular feature – so keep an eye out over the next few weeks, and get to know the organisation that’s Changing The Game.

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