How To Handle A PR Mishap Like Olivia Pope
While ABC’s Scandal certainly has its fill of TV drama, there are valuable lessons to be learned from the show’s main character, Olivia Pope. Played by Kerry Washington, Olivia is a crisis communications consultant and fashion trendsetter who protects her clients’ public images. While certain methods used by Pope certainly would not happen in the PR world (destroying evidence and hiding bodies, for example), many of her techniques are perfect examples of strong crisis management:
Admit your mistakes
The first step to correcting your wrongs is admitting to them. People love to forgive an honest, well-meaning company, but may never forgive you for a cover up. Be as transparent as possible, and reassure the public that you have things under control.
The longer it takes you to release a statement, the more the rumors will fly. Unfortunately, in today’s world it takes mere seconds to check the news, and if you don’t speak on the issue, someone else will. Chances are, you won’t like what they have to say.
But not so quickly that you forget to consult others
While it’s important to make a statement in a timely manner, the statement needs to be well thought out. Before rushing to the keyboard, consult with your PR team, lawyers, etc., to ensure that your statement reflects your brand’s key messaging.
Everyone makes mistakes and businesses are no exceptions! With the right messaging and a quick spring to action, a team of skilled crisis managers can turn your mishap into a story of a lesson learned that even Olivia Pope would be proud of.