Strategist Mikal Belicove visits RSJ
Story by RSJ Student Writer Tyler Hersko
Four Reynolds School classes received a crash course in strategy and entrepreneurship during magazine columnist Mikal Belicove’s Reno visit last week.
Belicove, who has written for publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine, provided four guest lectures that touched on topics ranging from proper interviewing techniques to the relationship between public relations and reporting. Belicove spoke in Alan Deutschman’s magazine writing class, Mignon Fogarty’s media entrepreneurship graduate course, Sheila Peuchaud’s writing for strategic communications course and Bob Felten’s advanced strategic communications course.
Belicove enjoyed visiting the university and considered it a two-way learning experience.
“I always learn something when I present to students,” Belicove said. “As a speaker you have to deal with the appearance of apathy…but as you warm up and start to make eye contact, it’s always useful. Great questions, very meaningful.”
Each of Belicove’s four lectures were specifically tailored for the classes that he visited. According to Felten, Belicove made a particularly strong effort to provide pertinent information during his lectures.
“He collected the syllabi of the various classes he was going to speak at and coordinated and proposed topics with me and others to make sure that he was relevant,” Felten said. “That’s a pretty unusual process for a guest speaker who is coming to help our students, to take the extra effort to individualize and customize his presentation in the way he did.”
Although he covered a wide array of topics during his visit, Belicove stressed that his key focus was on recognizing the importance of teamwork in the field.
“The big takeaway is that I can’t do my job without public relations, and public relations can’t do its job without me, the journalist,” Belicove said. “Understanding that it’s a two way relationship is really important. We need more collaboration rather than rubbing against each other.
In addition to his work as a magazine columnist, Belicove works as a business advisor and author. For more information about Belicove, visit http://mikalbelicove.com/.