"Scandal" & Dinosaurs


I don’t think it comes as a surprise that I am a raving fan of the ABC hit “
Scandal.” Olivia Pope is in PR. So am I. She has a signature color (white) so do I (pink). We both love a good glass of wine. She sucks down Merlot like it’s water and I love a crisp, clean glass of champagne every now and again. There are more comparisons, but I will say this. I do not hide bodies or lie for my clients. That’s where we are very different.

What I love the most about this show is that it shows my friends and family that working in the field of public relations is more than just chatting on the phone and networking. It’s hard work and not for sissies. This week’s season finale was a lesson for all CMOs and PR professionals who are putting their heads in the sand regarding social media.


At the beginning of the show, President Fitzgerald Grant was just a few days from his second term election with a slim lead over his holier-than-thou, murdering Vice President Sally Langston. Now, Sally is looking good to voters because they don’t know that she killed her cheating husband and think that she is a pillar of Godliness. That is not good for Fitz, because he has just come out of a nasty affair situation that Olivia could barely handle via PR.

I also love the movie “His Girl Friday.” If you ever get a chance to see this classic, the writing is witty, timeless and spoken at rates of speed that rival Eminem and Busta Rhymes. “Scandal” is no different and the actors are to be applauded for their flawless execution of brutally long and whip fast monologues. But that brings me to the words “fast” and “time.”

Time Is Not On Your Side Today

If you saw the season finale, things happened very quickly. Fitz’s election polls were up. Then they solidly hit the basement, and the First Family was packing even before the polls opened. Then within minutes, he was back in the game and won the election. If you watched the show, you see that Olivia and team are using many forms of communication; phones, social media, television, texting, yelling, meetings, notes, and pictures. The team had to react in real-time 24/7.

I hear this a lot from potential clients, “We really don’t think we need to get into social media. It’s just a waste of time.”

Hmm. Really?

We can only imagine what dinosaurs were thinking when it started getting a bit chilly and the sky became less and less visible. But we can visit their bones for free in most museums with a paleontology section. Do you really want to be in that crowd?

Dinosaurs and The Golden Corral

A few months ago, a disgruntled employee filmed some not-so-flattering footage of food conditions at a Golden Corral restaurant. This low priced chain is known for serving 3 meals daily, at low prices for families and tourists. For the 24 hours during this crisis, it was clear that the executives at Golden Corral found out about the viral video just like I did – on the news. Not good for their PR team. They basically were getting millions of dollars in unwanted attention while they were sleeping.

To add to their woes, nobody was working on the company’s social media (SEO, company owned sites, consumer engagement, etc) so that when you Google Golden Corral, the first things that pop up are the words, “salmonella” “disgruntled employee” and that really, really nasty video over, over and over again. Even MONTHS later.

By just instituting “passive social media” tactics(PSM) such as monitoring their brand online and pumping up their SEO and image, the damage could have been softened. Even if you didn’t know about the scandal, it’s the prevailing image online. And where do 90% of people get their dining information? Yup. On the computer.

Who Wants To Get a Place On the Ark?

My mom and husband went to go see the movie “Noah” last week. Never did it occur to me that at 600 years old would Noah be kinda hot, but that is for another conversation. We all know the story. God gave Noah some information. Noah tried to share it with the world whilst he built his ark. Nobody listened. Whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist, there is common ground that when things change, either you change or you die.

Not only is PSM needed, cause’ that just keeps you relevant and safe, but you need “active social media” (ASM) and that’s my favorite! That is the social media that drives sales. And who doesn’t want that? 

I recently did some math for a client who is on the fence about the Ice Age and wondering if they should get onto the ark. They only do traditional advertising (print, ad buys and press releases). I showed them that by leaving out a comprehensive social media plan to a recent campaign, they had missed out on 4 million impressions totaling over $9 million in ad value. If you are a smarty pants CMO, than you know how to quantify CTRs, the exact dollar value of impressions for your industry and the percentage those ad dollars translate to sales.

Millions of Dollars Left on The Table

I’m not a fancy change agent. I know they are out there, but I just don’t have the time to sit and argue with a potential client while the rain starts pouring. Ima’ get on that ark and grab me some food and my favorite pair of high heels. Because really, at this point if your upper management is still debating the merits of social media as part of their overall PR plan, I think I hear gurgling noises.

“I Have A Big Head And Little Arms!” 

So. Do you wanna be in a museum or do wanna be sitting on a shipload of cash? I know which choice works for me. If you are a T-Rex, none of this applies to you because you can’t surf the net due to your body shape.

If you like my zany way of explaining content marketing that always mentions either a movie or high heels, smash one of those pink buttons below and share it with your friends!