Career Guide

What All Media Relations Masters Have in Common

I first fell in love with public relations, and more specifically, media relations when a guest speaker showed up in my Comms 101 class my first semester at college. I was hooked, quickly becoming a PR nerd. Internships, newswriting jobs and a master’s thesis on “The Gatekeeping Function of the Mass Media” all followed before my career really took off.

But that’s just me. What if you don’t inherently love public relations? What if you’re like my friend, who once said to me:

“I’m more neutral toward PR as a discipline. But I just love the institution I represent, so I want to learn how to do that as best I can.”

Or maybe this is you:

“Things are changing so fast! Digital, social, content, search — whatever I end up doing, I want to take with me the key lessons and principles of public relations, so I’m committed to learning them now.”

Or even:

“I’ve got specific goals to move on from public relations. But I know I’ll be best positioned to fulfill those goals when I take a track record of proven results with me. So I’m focused on being the best PR pro I can until I make that move.”

Any one of those attitudes are fine. So are lots of others. You just need your own “why.”

I study and learn public relations because I love it. My friend loves his institution. It’s in finding this “why” that you’ll ultimately become a Media Relations Master. Happy people seek excellence in whatever they do.

The only attitude toward public relations that will fail you is this one:

“It’s just a job. Hopefully I’ll find something better soon.”

If you’re stuck with that perspective, then nothing I have to offer you will help. You don’t have to share my innate love for this profession, but you do need a “why” that powers your drive for continuous learning.

That’s the common attribute I’ve observed among all the successful PR pros I’ve worked with. And if you’re still reading these posts, I’ll know you’ve got it, too.


Michael Smart teaches PR professionals how to dramatically increase their positive media placements. He’s engaged regularly by organizations like General Motors, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Georgia Tech to help their media relations teams reach new levels of success. Get more media pitching knowledge from Michael Smart here.

Want to dive deeper into Smart’s tips for landing more media coverage? Check out his workshop “Secrets of Media Relations Masters” or his online course “Crafting the Perfect Pitch”. 

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