Skip links


Five Things Scarlett O’Hara Taught Me About PR

Posted At: October 24, 2013 12:30 p.m.
by Susan Griffiths

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta; so in honor of my hometown’s claim to Civil War fame, I am dedicating a blog to the fabulous Scarlett O’Hara. While she starts out as a vapid socialite, Scarlett becomes an amazing woman and through her journey we can mine a few excellent nuggets of PR gold.

1. You cannot be afraid to get a little dirty:
After the war, Scarlett returns to a home in shambles. From living a life of privilege to poverty, Scarlett takes on her mentally ill father and her sick sisters. She is forced to provide food and warmth by stealing from neighboring plantations and eventually planting crops herself. Although I don’t condone stealing, in PR even the most important people have to do some not-so-glamorous, but crucial jobs.

2. Beauty is as beauty does:
While Scarlett is the South’s most beautiful woman ever, she has a pretty terrible attitude in the beginning. However, she improves greatly throughout the novel. PR professionals have to put on a good face at all times. Whether it is sending a thank you note or solving a crisis, they must be calm, cool and collected.

3. You have to have gumption:
Scarlett is the ultimate woman. She can deliver babies, shoot murderous Yankees and run a lumber company. However, she wouldn’t be anywhere without a lot of gumption. In the PR world there is a lot of hard work and long hours, but if you power through, you can have an excellent outcome!

4. Being the life of the party has its perks:
She may have been a widow, but Scarlett knew how to get exactly what she wanted through charm, elegance and a whole lot of brains. The world of public relations requires a strong sense of self. You have to be comfortable in your own skin before you can be the face of a client organization.

5. “Tomorrow is another day”:
While you may not be referring to winning the love of your life back (I am a strong believer that the two end up together), PR professionals have to understand the cold hard truth: if it does not work out today, you have to try again.

The world of Scarlett O’Hara is vastly different than the world we live in today, but let’s be honest: she is brilliant. Thanks for the great advice, Scarlett… you go, girl!

Return to top of page