Going “Back to School” with Muck Rack’s Fundamentals of Media Relations Course

Here at V2, we’re all about continuous learning. Whether we’re a member of the team just kicking off their career in PR or a seasoned veteran, we love the opportunity to hit the (digital) books and constantly refresh our skills. This takes shape in the form of frequent internal professional development sessions and events put on by local PR organizations—which we miss very much as we remain socially distanced.

The professional development team saw an opportunity to keep this culture of learning flowing with trainings offered through Muck Rack – a centralized platform built to seamlessly connect PR pros and journalists. With Muck Rack, our employees can manage media lists for campaigns, send personalized pitches and record and manage results all in one place. V2 is always investing in new and powerful tools to ensure employees can do the best job possible – to which Muck Rack is a prime example.  

This summer, the V2 team took part in Muck Rack’s virtual Fundamentals of Media Relations course, which had even the most experienced members of our team excitedly sharing tips and tricks in our agency-wide Teams channels. The online course, led by PR industry veteran Michael Smart, features bite-size videos that make it easy to sneak in some learning at the end of a busy day or during lunch.

While we wouldn’t want to give away too much of the “secret sauce” that makes the course worth any PR pro’s time, our favorite lessons focused on:

  • The biggest disconnects between journalists and PR pros (and most importantly, how to bridge the gap)
  • Making your pitch stand out among the junk that unfortunately floods many journalists’ inboxes
  • The right way to frame news around timely events and trends
  • Reporters’ preferences for pitch length, time of day to receive pitches and follow-up emails

We pride ourselves on our great media relations skills, but we also know there’s always something new to learn or try. It’s always interesting to see the results of surveys that get into the nitty-gritty of what journalists like and don’t like—down to the time of day they like to receive pitches—and this course came complete with the data to back up the recommendations in each lesson.

We’re also not too proud to admit that some of us are just a bit nerdy, and the instant gratification of quizzes at the end of each block of video lessons was a great motivator. Who doesn’t love getting a 100%?!

At the end of the day, the professional development and continuous learning we take part in is aimed at constantly improving so that we can continue to drive top-tier results for our clients. This course gave us a chance to sharpen our skills, hear directly from journalists and see examples of what works well and what leaves journalists cursing their inboxes. We’ve upped our media relations game as a result of taking part, and recommend the course to any of our PR colleagues.


September 18, 2020


By Jillian Saftel


Professional Development