You cannot sit down and watch an episode of ABC’s hit drama, Scandal, without hearing the phrase “it’s handled” uttered from the lead, Olivia Pope, who is the head of a crisis management firm in Washington, DC. Anyone who has watched an episode will be obliged to admit that they too have aspired to be like Olivia Pope. Between her thrilling job, unbelievable gut instinct, poise, desire to do the right thing and the confidence behind her voice every time she says, “it’s handled”, it is hard not to idolize her.
It was not until three weeks ago, when the 3rd season of Scandal sadly came to a close and I subsequently began my internship at Matter that I realized Public Relations and the firm that I work for specifically is not all that different from the fictional “Olivia Pope & Associates”. In fact, I have found that many of my colleagues are real life Olivia Popes. Not only do they “wear the white hat” when it comes to doing what is right for their accounts and the general public but they also have the natural ability of fixing everything around them. By simply scrolling through emails these past couple of weeks I have seen countless responses like, “I’m on it” or “I’ll take care of it” or even as Olivia Pope would say, “It’s handled”.
The role of a public relations professional is often times thought of as simply a spokesperson or middleman between the public and a company. It was not until I started working at this firm that I noticed their additional role as crisis managers. They may not be advising the President like Olivia, but they are making crucial decisions for some of the largest corporations around. Whether the teams are facing a negative tweet or a corporate disaster that could ruin an accounts reputation, it is the job of the PR professional to fix it. Although, not many of us can say that we have saved senators campaigns or prevented classified information from being leaked to the public, when I hear my co-workers say “it’s handled” I feel the same sense of confidence in them as I do when I hear it come from the brilliant Olivia Pope.