This Friday, we are excited to highlight our Media Manager, Nick Michael. A Virginia Tech alumnus, Nick joined W2 Communications shortly after graduating. Nick is also the producer of our podcast, Inside the Media Minds. He shares why he became interested in public relations, some key lessons he has learned throughout his time at W2 Communications and more:
What first spiked your interest in public relations?
I enjoy dynamic problem solving. Other fields, specifically math and sciences, are very strict in terms of creativity. There are clear cut formulas and rules you must follow. Public relations is interesting to me because there isn’t a rulebook. Anything can work, and anything can be a mistake. You have to carefully craft campaigns while anticipating every potential pitfall and misstep ahead of time.
Two years into your career, what do you wish you could tell yourself as a recent graduate?
I wouldn’t spoil anything. The experience is what yields knowledge.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned working at W2 Communications?
I’ve learned that attention to detail is extremely valuable in this industry. In all facets of PR, you need to pay close attention to the minutiae. Whether it be something as big as a proposal or small as a briefing sheet, everything must be viewed with a magnifying glass. You need to anticipate how people will react to the deliverable, in both concept and presentation. A great idea can appear to be a bad one if not communicated optimally.
As the producer of Inside the Media Minds, what are some key lessons you have learned? What challenges have you overcome?
I think the initial launch of the show was the toughest part. Getting it off the ground brought a ton of hurdles and challenges that we didn’t anticipate. You think, “I have a microphone and a guest, I have all I need.” There are a bunch of small details that go into properly producing a show and, to be blunt, we are still learning! Once we started cranking out content at a regular pace, I think everything started to fall into place. We’ve come a long way since our first episode, but it’s all about progression. I’m really excited for the future of the program.
What is your favorite episode of IMM?
My favorite episode of the show is our talk with Jordan Robertson from Bloomberg. Jordan was a very engaged guest and he shared several anecdotes that I found to be captivating, specifically surrounding data leaks. His analysis of how certain companies (Target, TJ Maxx) bounced back from security fiascos was particularly interesting. Go listen to that episode!
What do you do in your free time?
All of my free time is dedicated to my study of competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
What made you want to do Jiu Jitsu?
I initially got into Jiu Jitsu because I wanted to defend myself against an untrained opponent. If I were ever forced into a physical altercation with a random person, I wanted to know I could protect myself. Jiu Jitsu is such a powerful art that after about a year or so of training every single day, I found myself confident that I could neutralize an untrained opponent. This caused me to shift my focus, and now I am tasked with defeating highly skilled opponents in a regulated, organized setting. I participate in tournaments where I fight other practitioners from all over the world, and the discipline and dedication required has improved my life in all areas.
Who is your favorite MMA fighter and why?
Conor McGregor — because his rise to success contributed to me giving martial arts a try, and now it is my lifestyle.
Who is someone you look up to?
I have always looked up to the “King of All Media,” Howard Stern. He’s provided me with endless laughs over the years, but above all else, I have great admiration for his ability to communicate and express himself. While many view him as a “shock jock” or X-rated comedy show host, I think he is a remarkably intelligent and relatable person. He broke a lot of rules, set several trends and made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. Anyone who can cultivate a following like his and do it on their own terms is an inspiration.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A coyote. They have a reputation of being clever, and I suppose I identify with that.
Favorite ice cream flavor?