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From Journalism to Public Relations: JP Hervis' Mentors and Inspirations

In his interview on yesterday’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, JP Hervis discussed moving from journalism to founding his own publication relations firm, Insider Media Management, and how he was able to bring what he learned as a journalist to the PR world. Here, he discusses the people who helped teach and inspire him along the way:

1. Olga Hervis, Co-Author and Co-Director of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) and Family Effectiveness Training (FET) (http://www.brief-strategic-family-therapy.com)

“My mother struck an amazing balance of being there for my brother and I always, loving and supporting unconditionally, AND achieving enormous success with both her private practice and now-company that teaches a form of therapy that she researched and developed over many years.

“While I know it’s enormously difficult for an entrepreneur to really hit the perfect ‘sit with your family all the time’ role, it’s something that I strive for all the time. So when I get a little bit down or perhaps a little bit frustrated because maybe I’m not hitting that right work-life balance, I remember that my mom was able to do it.”

2. Tom Farrey (@TomFarrey)

“Tom Farrey was my first-ever, high-level mentor in journalism. He was always able to find the emotional or investigative angles in a niche that most people struggle… sports. He is a multiple-Emmy award-winning journalist who also happens to be an author, excellent husband and wonderful father.

“I appreciated him as a journalist for not only the ability to be a storyteller, but also be someone that multiple people can connect with. When you’re a reporter, one day you’re interviewing the governor, the next day you’re interviewing a women who maybe just lost her house in a fire. And you have to be able to transition and connect to those people in a second… He taught me that, along with story structure, and I take that to this day. He’s been a professional mentor of mine for the better part of 15 years now.”

3. Dennis Smith (on Facebook)

“He is now retired, but Dennis Smith was my news director when I was a reporter for WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. I loved his leadership style: strict but fair; soft spoken but aggressive. He had true passion for journalism at a time when real reporting continued to wither away from the news business. He taught me so much about storytelling and taking any professional effort to a level beyond what you think is expected.”

4. Teddy Roosevelt

“He suffered physical ailments but was a successful young athlete and military man. He wasn’t (self-admittedly) the smartest person when he attended law school, but worked so hard he ascended to the upper parts of his high-end educational opportunities and instantly became a leader who was well-respected among most peers. For those who didn’t like him, he didn’t bother.

“This former president also had a laser focus of what he wanted throughout is life, whether it was a knowledge for learning, connecting with the natural beauty of the country, military efforts,  the women he loved and goals he wanted to accomplish. He was small and rather different in appearance than his societal contemporaries, but didn’t care, and had an energetic and powerful presence that made so many want to love and follow him.”

5. Kristin Hoke (https://www.jmcfoundation.org/kristin-hoke)

“Kristin Hoke was my co-anchor when I worked at WPBF in West Palm Beach, Florida. When I arrived, Kristin had very publicly fought cancer. Once she was ‘cleared,’ despite knowing the risks that the cancer may return, she had a beautiful baby. Her cancer returned while we worked together and I sat next to her during the morning shows and watched her battle the effects of the disease, treatment, and lack of sleep. She would come in everyday with a positive attitude and an amazing perspective on life. She was a consummate professional and never made any excuses. Kristin got angry at me when I didn’t share with her the not-as-important obstacles I was facing in my life. She wanted to hear them and help me through it if she could.

“Next to the word ‘strong’ in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Kristin. She eventually lost her battle with cancer. I didn’t even know her that long, but I keep a picture of her prominently framed in my office to remind me what strength and perspective are really about.”


About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

David is the podcast host and community builder behind Smashing the Plateau, an online platform offering resources, accountability, and camaraderie to high-performing professionals who are making the leap from the corporate career track to entrepreneurial business ownership.

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