Four PR lessons from Scandal’s Olivia Pope

By: Bailey Briscoe 

It seems like a decade has passed since “Scandal” left us with that cliffhanger and then went on winter hiatus.

However, the wait is finally over. As of last night, we have our weekly standing Thursday night date with Olivia Pope back. In celebration, we’ve compiled a list of four tips future PR professionals can learn from the queen herself.


  1. Connections are important

We can’t all know the president as personally as OP does, but we can establish connections with reporters and members of the community. Gaining, and maintain, the respect of different media channels will go a long way for your PR efforts. If a reporter trusts you, they will be more likely to buy into your pitch or cover the story from the angle you want them to.


  1. Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s called Olivia Pope & Associates for a reason. Olivia is the star of the show, but she wouldn’t be able to “handle it” without her gladiators in suits next to her. A well-rounded team is important in PR. We all bring our own unique set of experiences and background to the table, and that helps when brainstorming different ideas and tactics. Plus, none of us are perfect. We will need someone to proofread that byline before we send it out to the media.


  1. Be in the know 

Do you ever wonder why Olivia is always one step ahead of everyone and seems to get the news first? It’s because she’s constantly on her phone and staying up-to-date with the latest news. Media outlets work with an extreme attention to time elements, and they want stories that are newsworthy. If you know the current issues, it will help you get media placement for your client if they can respond to those issues.


  1. Always wear your white hat

Olivia Pope is constantly struggling to decide if she wants to wear her white hat or do what is best for her client. This is something PR professionals deal with on a daily basis, and it’s why it is so important to have a moral code of ethics. The PR industry has its own code of ethics, determined by the Public Relations Society of America, but it’s important to have your own personal moral code as well.


If you didn’t get enough OP with this post, check out our fashion committee’s blog post on a gladiator-inspired wardrobe.


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