Dust Off Your White Hat: The Olivia Pope Skills Every PR Gladiator Needs

By Lauren Bogacz and Payal Shukla

If you work in public relations and haven’t been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the ABC hit show “Scandal,” inspired by a real-life crisis communications professional navigating the media and political landscapes of Washington D.C. While it’s no secret that large portions of the show have dramatized what it actually means to work in PR, the main character’s struggles with wearing the “white hat” are rooted in real practices seen across agencies of all practices and industries.

The “white hat” signifies when a person is playing the role of a good guy. The concept dates back to the good ole days of black and white Western movies, where the hero always wore a white cowboy hat and the villain a black one. In public relations, most of us are the good guys and wear the white hat on behalf of our clients. This also carries over to our interactions with our client’s clients, the media and each other. Kerry Washington plays Scandal’s main character, Olivia Pope, who references on multiple occasions when she’s taking her white hat on and off. Situations arise frequently that challenge us to keep them on.

With the new season of Scandal premiering Thursday, we take a look at some prominent, real-world examples of when PR professionals must put on their “white hats” – both consciously and subconsciously.

Scandal_White Hat Gif

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Friday Five: 9/15-9/19

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

3D printer heading to space could enable lunar exploration - C|Net News

Startup, Made In Space, is working on a 3D printer that works in microgravity, so space crews can build products and tools on demand. This advancement will enable independence from Earth. The Made In Space 3D printer uses recycled 3D objects, and will eventually print using regolith, the powdery substance that covers the moon. Regolith can serve as a substitute for cement to print houses and roads. Innovations in the technology space are common, but this one is out of this world…literally.

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Friday Five: 9/8-9/12

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

Alibaba 101: The biggest IPO of all time – CNN Money

I’ve talked about Apple a lot in the past weeks, but I agree with CNN when they say that there’s a new star in the tech world. Alibaba’s IPO is set to be the biggest IPO of all time, and will put the company in line with Amazon’s market value. While many American’s don’t know about Alibaba yet, the company reigns as king of e-commerce, shipping about $248 billion of merchandise every year. I’m interested to see how Alibaba’s continuous growth will change the e-commerce space, but think it’s safe to say that Alibaba is elite.

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How does PR support sales?

At Walker Sands, we work with our clients to raise awareness, establish credibility and generate new business. We’re increasingly finding ways to work with our clients’ sales teams, both directly and indirectly, to support customer acquisition and conversion.

So how does public relations support sales efforts? Here’s a quick rundown:

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Friday Five: 9/2-9/5

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

4 tech innovations that are transforming marketing - Digiday

Technology is constantly evolving and impacting all industries. But there are four trends specifically transforming marketing. Streaming, social, programmatic and mobile are quickly changing the way marketers interact with their audiences. The way we use brands doesn’t change with technology, however. Rather, it’s how we discover and interact with them that’s transformative.  Because of this, marketers must work smarter to ensure they’re reaching and connecting with the right people at the right time.

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