#WhatWouldOliviaPopeDo?: 5 PR Lessons to Learn from Scandal

By: Emily Grabowski, Director of Chapter Development

As most of you should know by now, Season 5 of the hit show, Scandal, premiered on September 24th. For those of you who have not screened the past two episodes, I promise no major spoilers will come from this post! Not only is Scandal entertaining and dripping with gossip, but there are also a few realistic public relations tips that viewers can take away from this hit show.

Scandal-LogoLesson 1: Go with your gut.

Public relations work typically involves making many ethical choices. For example, Olivia has to trust each client when they explain the situation they are in and how they got there. If something seems off, it most likely is. This goes for any person you may encounter
throughout the industry. Always go with what you feel is right and make sure to voice your opinion if you feel as though an ethical barrier has been broken.

Lesson 2: You are a gladiator. Make sure to keep your confidence up!

It is very easy to get discouraged by a campaign that didn’t do as great as you thought it would or if your supervisor isn’t a fan of one of your brilliant social media plans. Everyone has their own opinions and styles of work, but it is up to you to remain true to yourself and what you believe in. Not only is Olivia Pope confident, but this also compels her to make sure she gets the job done no matter what crazy scenario her and her team may be facing.

Lesson 3: Don’t let those above you look down on you.

One of my new favorite characters from Scandal is Abby, who recently took on the press secretary role in the White House. Not only did she defy the President’s Chief of Staff during a press conference, but she “handled it” like a true PR rockstar. When you are in a room full of journalists shouting questions at you, it can be extremely hard to keep your cool. Watch how Abby handles herself on the podium to give you some motivation to keep calm and rise above your difficulties!

Lesson 4: Although appearance isn’t everything, a nice business suit can always make things better.

I’m not one to say image is everything, but if you aren’t jealous of Olivia’s wardrobe by now, something must be wrong. The woman has style! From her beautiful ballgowns to her crisp white pant suits, she sure maintains her image in every way possible. As a PR professional, it is always important to look and feel your best while getting the job done.

Lesson 5: Team work makes the dream work.

This is one of my personal favorite sayings and can be seen in almost every scene from the past two episodes of Scandal. Between Jake, Quinn, Huck and Abby, they all function as a team to make sure Olivia stays afloat amidst her whirlwind relationship with the president and maintaining a normal working life despite the endless paparazzi and onlookers. In the PR sector, collaboration with others produces the best quality of work possible and allows for an endless flow of creative ideas.

Make sure to tune in Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC to see what kind of cases Olivia Pope & Associates take on next!

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