I admit it. I am addicted to the ABC television show Scandal. I mean, this is a Thursday night, don’t you dare interrupt that hour, edge-of-the-seat kinda love. As a public relations professional, I have every reason to discard Olivia Pope as a ‘not for real, giving PR a bad name’ character. But I can’t. In my fantasy world, I have secretly taken to describing what I do as “Olivia Pope, without the drama – or the wardrobe!” But wait a minute. Before we condemn Ms. Pope for her philandering ways, lies and ‘do whatever it takes even if it means breaking the law’ kind of cover-ups, let’s take a look at what we actually do have in common with the ever-scandalous Scandal.
5 Things I learned from Olivia Pope
- You need a team who’s got your back. PR can be a demanding, 24×7 world. You need to be a team player to count on and a team leader who is absolutely confident the team will get it done.
- Lies always beget more lies. Don’t do it. It only works on TV fantasy land.
- Be detailed. Watch, listen, plan and strategize. Connect the dots. Anticipating what might happen, what will happen and what to do about it is your job.
- Never let ‘em see you sweat. In crisis situations, if you can’t be the calmest, most in control person in the room, pick another career.
- Exercise, people! Olivia swims laps when she is troubled. There’s a reason PR is consistently rated as one of the most stressful jobs. Do something every day to deal with it. You’ll be better on the job … and maybe, like Olivia, you can let your mind drift away to re-live your juiciest moments!