“Scandal” lead character Olivia Pope may make questionable personal choices, but professionally, she always gets the job done. She’s the sort of character PR pros can look to for inspiration—or commiseration, when times are tough.
A PR pro can’t live on wine and popcorn, though. Not even those of us trying to emulate the gladiator lifestyle.
Instead, here are five relatable moments when the most seasoned among us needs a drink, along with the appropriate (and at times, non-alcoholic) wine substitute:
1. When it’s “go time.”
A day packed with an overflowing inbox, client requests, and looming deadlines is enough to make any pro’s head spin. But your coworkers, clients, and boss expect you to have things handled.
Even Olivia Pope saves the wine for evening hours, and opts for caffeine for those gladiator-esque moments.
The drink: Starbuck’s venti coffee has one of the highest concentrations of caffeine out there. In fact, one cup has more caffeine than the FDA-recommended daily dose. Pick one up while you’re answering those emails on your smartphone.
2. When you desperately need some inspiration.
PR pros make brilliant campaigns seem easy; in reality, we know they’re anything but.
A winning strategy combines knowing your audience, creativity, and lots of planning ahead. Staring at a blank document on your computer screen doesn’t exactly drum up the kind of ideas that will win over your client in the next day’s meeting.
The drink: Beet juice has been shown to increase circulation in the brain. Can’t handle the thought? Berry smoothies also increase blood flow and can get those brain juices flowing.
3. When you’re in the middle of a full-blown crisis.
You may shudder to think of the dreaded moment when a client says something unsavory during an interview, or when you open the newspaper to find a client’s scandal splashed across the front page.
When PR pros handle a crisis situation, they’re putting out fires (and hopefully not fanning the flames). All that extinguishing can take a toll. It’s when you don’t even consider getting a glass out for that bottle of wine.
The drink: Though you’ll want to drink something in the vein of a Pumpkin Spice Latte to get through the actual crisis, you probably need something with a little more edge—like this Drunken Punk’n Latte—once the cleanup is underway. Hey, no one said crisis communications couldn’t be festive.
4. When it’s time to let things go.
Public relations is a fast-paced, fun, and rewarding career, but it can also be taxing.
The best PR pro balances client needs with his or her own, which includes finding time to relax and recharge. That may mean turning off your phone for 10 minutes instead of two, but it’s the effort that counts.
The drink: If you really want to let go of stress from a busy day in the office, try a cup of chamomile tea. For extra relaxation, try lemon balm, valerian root, or lavender tea.
5. When it’s time to celebrate.
Landing a top client, getting prime-time coverage, earning an industry award, or knocking a presentation out of the park are moments that PR pros relish.
When those moments arrive after all your hard work, go on and celebrate. Even gladiators know when it’s time to cut loose.
The drink: Some may reach for the sparkling wine after a PR victory, but Coca-Cola Journey’s site has some great recipes for celebratory mocktails, including a Habanero Lime Cola Mocktail, Mandarin Nojito, and Tingle Bells Punch.
No matter what moment you’re in, bring your drink along with you to our #RaganSocial Twitter chat tomorrow at 2 p.m. Central. We’re talking with Jay Moye, senior editor of Coca-Cola Journey.
Beki Winchel is co-editor of PR Daily.