Saturday, March 23, 2013

ABC's "Scandal" is too good

Picture via Itsrobinlori

I can not get enough of ABC's show, Scandal, and I know that a lot of the Marist PRSSA members feel the same way by the looks of my Twitter feed each week. The show has so many different elements that captivate my interest each and every episode. The combination of Pope's confidence, gladiators' devotion to her, flawless style and intense connection with the President of the United States most definitely makes for great TV. 

Perhaps what intrigues me more over anything, however, is the fact that that could potentially be me in the future. Crisis communications has always been an interest of mine and Olivia Pope's profession as a "professional fixer" mirrors the job description for crisis PR rather accurately in my eyes.

Obviously the drama is intensified for television, but many times what Olivia deals with does in fact occur each and every day. Thursday's episode dealt with a successful female CEO whose past affair with an old professor in law school came to the surface. Of course, this professor was now on the Supreme Court (added drama), but nonetheless, crisis PR people deal with these types of scandals all the time.

The show is based on real experiences undergone by crisis communications expert, Judy Smith:

Picture via Blackenterprise

Smith has represented many high profile clients, including Monica Lewinsky. She has a background in PR and has ran her own company, Smith & Co, for 25 years now. Shonda Rhimes, an executive producer at ABC, was introduced to Judy Smith who began telling her about her various cases. The rest is history.

Olivia Pope is not the only captivating character on Scandal. My personal favorites include Cyrus, Abby, Harrison and Fitz. Every character brings something different and I feel like the show is so mesmerizing because there is something relatable in all of them. It is also so inspiring to see the devotion Olivia's staff has to her and to see all of the various actions it takes to adequately execute a crisis communications situation.

Additionally, I love the way that the cast and show has been so up to date with social media. Every week, the cast live tweets the entire episode, responding to viewers' questions and comments, as well as retweeting their favorite tweets. Also, there is a Twitter, @ScandalWriters, that often tweets things of this nature: 

Like I have said in an earlier post, TV and social media go hand in hand. Shows that do not take advantage of this will not be able to compete against those that do. Ultimately, Scandal is an entertaining, well-written show that should serve as an inspiration to all aspiring PR professionals. Like Olivia Pope, we may not get much rest and our personal lives may be in shambles, but if we have passion and love what we do, anything is possible.

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