PR lessons from Olivia Pope and Associates
Scandal is a popular TV drama starring Kerry Washington, created by Shonda Rhimes. The show is based off of Judy Smith who worked for former U.S. President George Bush’s Administration as a press aide and then eventually started her own crisis management firm, just like Olivia Pope on the show. The TV show, which is in its fourth season, has garnered major success, winning a lot of awards and accolades.Olivia Pope and Associates is not exactly the model PR firm that you should be looking up to since they tend to engage in a lot of illegal activities, torture and unethical practice for the full-on dramatic effect, but there are still a lot of PR lessons to be learned from their team:
Have a well-rounded team – The members of Olivia Pope’s team have different skills sets and a lot of weaknesses, yet together, they are able to collaborate and fix the situation. Having a team that complements each other is key in public relations. You have to have individuals who think outside the box and are able to come to a workable conclusion, regardless of the limitations.
Over plan – There are so many instances when the team has to think outside the box and come out with different plans on the go. The ability to be able to quickly switch course and move on to plan B when plan A fails, is crucial for success in PR.
Follow your Gut – many times we have seen Olivia and her associates fix difficult situations by following their gut reactions. Trust in your ability to get through any situation, regardless of how bleak it looks, whether it is a crisis, or a huge product launch, things always work out in the end.
Client Relations - Olivia Pope is known to voice her opinions on what her clients should or should not do. Do not be afraid to encourage or discourage your client to do something, after all that is why they hired you.
Confidence is key - Olivia rarely ever lets her cool down. If she needs to take a minute to compose herself, she will walk away, gather herself and come back to get things handled. PR industry is very high stress! Emotionally, you will take a lot of hits, but the ability to wake up each morning and handle any situation confidently, even when you feel anything but, will help you get through any situation.