PR Students and Steve Jobs

Last week, Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. and arguably one of the greatest innovators of our lifetime, passed away.

Beyond technology, Jobs also left an impact on the PR industry. We all know of Apple’s notoriously secret PR machine as well as the revolutionary way Apple creates buzz around their products.

Most important, however, are the messages he left in his 2005 commencement address to Stanford University.

…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

Clearly Steve Jobs loved what he did and obviously excelled at it. As students of PR, we can learn. Not all PR practitioners are created equal. There are a ton of different divisions within PR not even counting those that blend with advertising and general communications work. Many students are interested in agencies while others in non-profits. Some love fashion while others want to represent celebrities. Whatever your interest, take after Steve and don’t settle. Find a niche in PR and make a difference.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Thinking about this before any kind of test, presentation, etc. can help tremendously. I don’t think I need to say anything other than just to live this quote as much as possible. Whether it’s in school or in work, strive toward this and I guarantee your life will be enriched to a degree you never could have imagined. 

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