When I heard that Shonda Rhimes was creating a new show about a PR professional who manages the reputations of the super powerful in DC. I thought, that could be good. There have been moments in my PR career where a savvy producer could have made a great episode from all of the chaos.
Now that I’m a fan of the show, I realize that there are many similarities between me and Olivia Pope. Here are the top five ways:
1. My cell phone is like an extra appendage – On the show, Olivia eats, drinks, sleeps and does just about everything else with her phone in her hand or right by her side. In the middle of a major event or crisis, you can’t pry my phone away long enough to charge. In fact most of the time, I am dragging the charger around with me looking for a place to sit next to an outlet. Everyone needs to be able to reach you and you have to answer every call.
2. A killer team is a necessity – No PR person can exist in a vacuum. I have had a long list of fantastic interns and assistants and colleagues who have made my job so much easier. Unlike Olivia’s team, I doubt that any of them would kill or torture someone for me. However, I always knew they had my back and would make sure our work was the best it could be.
3. I live for crisis – My husband says that I let everything build to its ultimate demise before I take action. That may be true. It may also make me good at my job. As a PR pro, you spend a large part of your career planning for crisis, predicting responses to crisis and foretelling impending doom. So when the crisis comes, you are prepared and able to make quick, solid decisions, comments and sound bites. Given the opportunity, I thrive in that emergency environment that leaves most folks in a puddle in the corner.
4. Wine and popcorn make a meal – I have had many night where I got home late from an event and realize I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. It happens. Wine and popcorn are fast, easy, and filling. Done and Done.
5. I have worked for a sitting president – Truth be told, I once helped plan a president’s address to the nation on Independence Day. I had a very small part in a very large machine that is presidential event planning, but I got a letter saying thanks from the president. Unlike Olivia, I did not have sexual relations with that president. Ewww. Unlike Fitz, George W. Bush was really not my type and I never even got within 100 feet of him. But still, it was a cool opportunity to be a part of.