I had the privilege last week to attend LinkedIn’s CommsConnect in New York, where one of the guest speakers was Judy Smith, founder and president of Smith & Co., a crisis-management firm well known inside the Beltway. But, Smith is more popularly known as the inspiration for Olivia Pope of TV’s Scandal.
One half of me wanted to know whether Ms. Smith – like her counterpart Olivia on the show – also drank red wine, what kind of relationship she had with her parents or whether she was ever in love with any of her many presidential clients. (She made it clear that last one was a “no.”) Not one of the senior communication executives in the audience asked any one of those questions.
Instead, we heard several bits of wisdom that can make all PR professionals more like a gladiator – the show’s term for hard-core crisis fixers – than mere message developers.