What do Don Draper, Sheldon Cooper and Melissa Gorga all have in common? They all have served as my off-the-clock professional mentors.
I wish I could say that I fill my time away from work with hobbies like scrapbooking, rock climbing or even knitting, but to be completely honest, most of my time is taken up by television.
I’m a TV junkie. Fortunately, I have found myself gravitating toward a weekly line-up that unintentionally keeps me on my toes professionally.
Join me on a magical journey into the always-entertaining education of Lynzy Stover.
With the most obvious connection to my work as a publicist, Mad Men follows a 1960s advertising agency through the ups and downs of everyday agency life. Many aspects of this career have changed over the last 50 years, but one detail remains the same: Client relations. The partners at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce go to great lengths (ahem!) to make sure their clients are pleased. While I wouldn’t take my clients out to the latest strip club or cigar bar, Don Draper taught me that client happiness is the key to a strong professional relationship.
Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory
Pro-skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek has created quite the little empire with his TV shows, skateboard brands, philanthropies, etc. On his current show, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, Dyrdek created a space that covers two aspects of his life: business and pleasure. The show is constantly showing his group of friends/colleagues getting into hilarious situations – most recently an adult beauty pageant and a food truck venture – while finding ways to keep the Dyrdek enterprise moving. Dyrdek’s crazy antics paired with his keen business sense have shown me how to balance business and pleasure, an art too often forgotten by PR professionals.
The Big Bang Theory
I jumped on The Big Bang Theory train a little late, but my oh my am I glad I found this little gem on TBS. The show is centered on four nerds and their pretty, actress neighbor. The nerdiness and intelligence of the four guys is beautifully contrasted by Penny’s social skills and common sense. At first glance, The Big Bang Theory provides only comic amusement to those who enjoy watching social awkwardness unfold amidst the constant ramblings of arrogant Dr. Sheldon Cooper. But after a closer analysis, you see how the great minds behind this show prove that when an opportunity presents itself, it is best to take it. Watch just five minutes of the show and you will notice constant product placement (pop cans are prevalent). The products have nothing to do with the plot, but these marketing geniuses prove that they can take advantage of any situation.
The Late Show with David Letterman
Late night talk show host David Letterman has charmed audiences for decades with his sarcasm and wit, along with his lack of filter during A-list celebrity interviews. I’ve been watching him since I was 8 (sorry, Mom), and contrary to what my mother says, Letterman really is human. He showed a mortal flaw in 2009 when he confessed, on air, an affair with a former Late Show assistant. Letterman’s strategy to tell the truth early proved to be his best move in a seemingly career-ending crisis. Fans appreciated his honesty and respected his choice to come clean to the public. Letterman taught me that when a client crisis arises, your first step should be to address the situation and clear the air early.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
This show taught me absolutely nothing about my profession, but darn it, that Teresa Guidice can make some amazing, good old-fashioned trashy television.
So which of your favorite shows are subliminally teaching you about your profession? Tell us in the comments.