PR lessons from 6 powerful TV characters

The next time you plop on the couch, tune in to ‘How to Get Away with Murder,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Parks and Recreation.’ Prominent characters provide excellent PR inspiration.

As a PR expert, you probably find professional inspiration in many places.

For example, meeting with the CEO of your company or hearing about a creative campaign can be incredibly motivating.

However, I frequently find inspiration outside of the typical PR bubble. Pop culture is full of brilliant PR nuggets, for instance.

I often find myself watching my favorite TV shows through the PR lens. To help inspire you, here are six things I’ve learned from TV’s most powerful female characters:

1. Annaliese Keating, “How to Get Away with Murder”

Through good times and bad (well, let’s be honest—mostly bad), Keating knows the importance of surrounding herself with smart, trustworthy and hardworking people. The support of a solid team is key to success.

2. Olivia Pope, “Scandal”

When managing a crisis, Pope always trusts her gut. Take a page out of her book, and don’t hesitate to trust your instincts. If your organization is facing a crisis and you have a gut feeling about how to respond, don’t be afraid to speak up. RELATED: Are you prepared for a crisis? Learn how to build a world-class crisis communications playbook in this free guide.

3. Peggy Olson, “Mad Men”

Olson is tenacious and smart, and she never stops striving for the career she wants. She caught the attention of her superiors largely because she isn’t scared to take creative risks. She gets out of her comfort zone, which helps her come up with new, creative ideas that her clients love. When it comes to PR, innovation is essential.

4. Margaery Tyrell, “Game of Thrones”

Tyrell knows the importance of adapting to situations better than most. She’s on her third husband, but that doesn’t bring her down. She continuously adjusts her plan and keeps her eye on the prize.

In our industry, client priorities constantly change. It’s important to remain flexible and be able to switch directions at a moment’s notice.

5. Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy”

Grey has one of the most difficult jobs in the world: She literally holds people’s lives in her hands. However, she always remembers the importance of balance and a “work hard, play hard” approach. After a long day, she unwinds with friends and colleagues (usually with tequila shots and dancing) and takes the time to celebrate success.

6. Leslie Knope, “Parks and Recreation”

Knope is a champ. Each day she completes the work of at least five people. However, no matter what type of problem she’s facing, she always stays positive. PR can be stressful, but remaining optimistic can make all the difference.

Do you have a favorite TV character who has taught you something about PR? If so, please share in the comments section below.

Taylor Smith is senior account executive at Shift Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on the Shift Communications blog. (Image via)


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