It’s Handled: PR Lessons from Olivia Pope
As PR professionals, many of us can admit that the hit ABC show ‘Scandal’ is a guilty pleasure. For those who have never watched, the show is about Olivia Pope, the owner of a crisis management firm in Washington, D.C. Olivia and her staff, more commonly known as her ‘gladiators,’ take on high profile political clients that range from White House debacles to the underground threats to homeland security. Olivia is known as a ‘fixer’ and uses her legal knowledge and PR expertise to ‘shut down’ the slander and change the conversation surrounding her controversial clients.
While our day-to-day jobs are nowhere nearly as dramatic, and well, scandalous as Olivia Pope and her team of ‘gladiators’ – we can attest to many of the lessons learned by this strong female character. With the season 4 premier just hours away, we thought it was time to brush up on a few PR-life lessons that Olivia Pope and her staff have taught us over the past three seasons.
Make Yourself Indispensable: Whether you are making yourself essential to your company or to your clients’ success, be sure to work so they cannot live without you. Olivia and her gladiators are constantly learning new skills and perfecting their craft to stay on top of their competition. They are the best in the business because they work harder and smarter. Go above and beyond and finish before anyone else even thinks of starting.
Always Be Ready for Plan B: In the fast-paced world of PR, you always need to have a plan B and have to be ready to execute it like it was plan A. Part of being a gladiator is keeping your cool when plans change and when things don’t go your way.
Messaging is Key: Olivia and her team know that having a clear message is crucial to the success of their clients. Whether it’s honing in on what their clients are trying to do or say, or just training their clients to be able to convey these messages to the media, Olivia and her team are always direct. In PR, it is important to be clear in your clients messaging. As we move into the generation where less is more, a concise and focused message is they key to success.
We look forward to tonight’s premier and learning even more valuable PR lessons from the gladiators.