The Blog

Controlling The Narrative

“So, what is PR exactly? Isn’t it just like advertising?”

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I get asked questions like those when it comes to what I do. Public relations, media relations, communications and/or publicity is not a new thing but the field of influencing public perception has always seemed allusive.

Some call us spin doctors, others see us as social butterflies depending on where they stand. All in all, it hasn’t always been easy describing what PR entails.


And then came along Olivia Pope. I was late to tune into Scandal. I had girlfriends raving about this show for months when the first season came out. You couldn’t be on Twitter on a Thursday night and not know what Scandal was about.

So, I gave in and watched. More than Kerry Washington’s to-die-for cheekbones and the character Olivia’s killer wardrobe, what won me over was that for the first time I saw crisis communication, media relations and PR being portrayed on television. This wasn’t Samantha from Sex and the City’s flaky version of PR. No, this was grittier.

olivia pope

 In my head, this is how I look at work. 

Hearing Olivia say things such as ‘controlling the narrative’, ‘deliver sound bites’ and ‘own the headlines’ took me to board room planning sessions and white boarding out strategies for my clients. That kind of PR talk is usually just spoken in those board rooms. Clients rarely understand all that jargon, let alone my friends and family who ask “No, really what do you do??”

Not sure if refreshing is the right word, but seeing a leading black female character who gives light to elements of a career I am passionate about has me hooked on this show. As well as Shonda’s cliff hanger endings on each episode (I want to throw my remote each time the credits roll).

Will this change the mind of those who call us spin doctors? Doubt it. Shoot, it might reinforce it. But who cares. Now when folks ask me what I do I ask them, “Have you seen Scandal?”


Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Amanda says:

    Girl! I was late to Scandal as well and though I am not in the PR field, that whole “control the narrative” spiel had me hooked from day 1. That and Mr. Short saying to Quin “We are Gladiators!” I watched all of season 1 in one night online a few days before season 2 was about to start.

    I can’t lie, I never truly understood the many facets of the PR world. This show has been really effective in bringing them to light. I, like you, want to throw the remote at the end of every episode right after I realize I’ve been holding my breath for the last 2 minutes!

    This isn’t about Scandal, per se, but more about your world and what you do. Spin doc or not as long as you own what you do and continue doing great things with it, you are on the right path and way ahead of most!


    Scandal Junkie/Addict

    • Najat says: (Author)

      By next season do you think Shonda will have us throwing our shoes at the TV or just throwing the TV out the window? The cliff hangers get more intense each episode.

      Thank you so much for the support!

Comments RSS

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this post but remember to place nicely folks!