If the phrase, “Thank you for being a friend” evokes music in your head,
you’re not alone.
Whether due to the enduring popularity of star Betty White, the
contemporary relevance of the social issues the show addressed or the flood of reruns on the Hallmark Channel, “The Golden Girls” has serious
announced that they had secured exclusive streaming rights to all seven seasons of
the iconic ‘80s comedy, fans of all ages rejoiced. One user on Twitter
remarked that this was the
“best news I’ve heard in 2017.”
The series’ streaming debut is Feb. 13, so now is a great time to break
out the cheesecake and consider the lessons our favorite girls can teach us
about being better communicators:
From Rose, we can learn the power of storytelling—and, just as
critically, the importance of brevity.
Her St. Olaf stories were nothing short of legendary, but the reception
they got from the other ladies often left a lot to be desired, due to the
fact that they were long-winded and included way too much jargon (“Oh, blow
it out your tubenburbles”).
As professional communicators, we should take care to ensure that none of
the stories we are telling—whether via a press release, pitch or another
form—become the proverbial “St. Olaf stories” of PR.
The only place a jargon-laden press release will get you is a one-way
ticket to the spam filter.
From Sophia, we can learn the importance of transparency.
Sophia’s status as a fan favorite character on the show can largely be
attributed to her tendency to say things exactly as she saw them (“The
man’s as gay as a picnic basket”) and to pull no punches when it came to
addressing hot-button topics.
As PR pros, the reality is that people often think we do the opposite,
trying to “spin” issues so they sound a certain way—or that we avoid
talking about the topics that actually matter.
In today’s climate of “alternative facts,” it has never been more important
for us to communicate what is happening accurately and honestly. It is only
then that our profession will get the positive recognition it deserves.
From Dorothy, we can learn the value of being quick-witted and vigilant
One characteristic that separates an average PR pro from a stellar one is
being an excellent wordsmith, and Dorothy’s acerbic wit and unique way with
words (she is a former teacher, after all) would no doubt make her
best-suited for a career in our profession.
Whether she was lampooning Rose or throwing shade at Blanche, Dorothy never
hesitated to insert her wit into a conversation.
PR pros can do the same thing by monitoring what people are talking about
on- and offline, and looking to capitalize on the best opportunities to
insert our own voices.
From Blanche, we can learn the value of having a vast network.
Blanche’s “little black book” was often used for comedic effect on the
series, but there is no denying that she was the most social character on
the lanai. It usually got her the best results (it helped her score tickets
to meet the one and only Burt Reynolds).
Similar to Blanche, a PR pro’s social network is his or her lifeblood.
By constantly looking to expand our networks and remaining open to new
social experiences, we amplify the number of people we are able to reach
with our messages, and thus, drive better results in the long run.
“The Golden Girls” has transformed from a small sitcom in the ‘80s to a
bona fide pop culture phenomenon today. One factor for its longevity is the
fact that viewers of all ages can find a little bit of the girls within
themselves. By choosing the most positive of these traits to embody, we can
become better communicators—and perhaps better people.
is an account executive at Scooter Media.