By Cathrin Hughes
As of September 2015, the Sheridan PRCC program has been under new management! Formerly the coordinator for Sheridan’s Print Journalism program, Nathan Mallett has spent the last seven months teaching and mentoring all of us PR newbies.
Nathan’s passion for teaching is evident every day — his lessons are packed with enthusiasm, expertise, and often some of his own humorous anecdotes.
Nathan took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat with us about teaching, words of wisdom and sailors.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I didn’t believe it at the time (I was 19 and thought it was just a platitude), but the idea that a person can really be anything they want to be professionally. If you have a career goal — provided you work hard enough at it — you can attain it.
I really think that [author] Malcolm Gladwell was onto something when he talked about the 10,000-hour principle: Practice what you want to do for 10,000 hours and you can master it. Success follows.
(Disclaimer: This does not apply to breaking into showbiz or becoming a superhero, but it pretty much holds true in just about any other profession.)
What’s one thing that all PR professionals need to know?
How to tell a story. Whether it’s pitching an idea to the media, writing copy, shooting video, tweeting. You’ve got to be able to come up with a compelling narrative that actually resonates with an audience. Now remember, I have spent my career working with words and story ideas for the media. Another professor might have a different perspective. I’d be curious to hear what they say.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I once played a sailor in a high school musical.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out in your career?
I should have listened to the best advice I ever received from Question 1.
What do you do when not working?
I write (more than I read, actually). Plus, I try to run five kilometres a day.
What’s your go-to Canadian news source to catch up on current events?
I hit the Globe and Mail and iPolitics daily. The Globe several times a day. I do make a point of checking in with the National Post and the Toronto Star, as well. Huffington is hit and miss, but often good for a hot take on politics. As for watching news, I really think The Agenda on TVO is the smartest hour on television.
What has been your favourite thing about running the PRCC program this year?
The students have been a real genuine pleasure to work with. So much talent! I hope you all know how good you are at what you do. Plus, you guys have been very patient with me as I’ve tried to shape this program on the fly this year. Also, Emily [MacKenzie, PRCC professor] has been so very helpful. She’s been a fountain of ideas, advice and a great person to bounce ideas off of. We talk almost daily and our conversations seem to go on for at least an hour and always morph into these amazing brainstorming sessions.
Read Nathan’s end of Fall semester message.