Testimonials

I love working with Michael because, aside from being smart and innovative and really clear, he doesn’t have an agenda. He’s not trying to push some greater service, he’s not looking to get you an award, he’s just looking to figure out the angle that’s going to get the best press and tell your story most effectively.”

– Laura Kane, VP Corporate Communications, Aflac

Michael Smart is simply the best media pitcher in the business. Period. And I’m convinced that the Inner Circle is the best-kept secret among the vast pool of PR people needing to improve their pitching skills. Michael’s tips have proven successful in my day-to-day job over and over again. After eight years of experience in the Bay Area I was feeling fairly confident in my media pitching skills. Little did I realize how much more I would learn by being involved in Michael’s biweekly Inner Circle calls. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my career.”

– Steve Jensen, PR Director, VitalSmarts

Michael combines energy and enthusiasm with practical advice and many current examples of successful media pitches. One team member followed one of Michael’s recommendations precisely and landed an interview for her CEO in the WSJ two months later; another colleague used one of Michael’s techniques and landed an opinion piece in a regional publication. He’s become a regular at our meetings–providing great insights and encouragement to building lasting relations with key influencers.”

– Sabia Schwarzer, VP, Head of Communications, Allianz North America, Washington, DC

I’m always learning new ways to work with reporters (even though I counted myself among them for more than a decade!) My Inner Circle subscription has already paid for itself in the media coverage I’ve recently been able to secure using Michael’s advice, including an network morning appearance.”

– Candace Rotolo, At The Table PR, Tampa, FL

The lessons I’ve learned from Michael’s Inner Circle were key to me landing my previous employer in the Wall Street Journal and getting my new company into TechCrunch and on CNBC. I’ve attended all the PR conferences and listened to lots of webinars, and Michael is hands-down the top guru of media relations I’ve heard. I owe much of my success in my career to Michael’s great teachings and continual encouragement.”

– Devin Knighton, PR Director, Instructure

Our team LOVED Michael’s training. People are super-energized at all levels. Michael’s ‘real people’ stories showcasing national media results were spot-on for the team. They are already sharing their ‘top 3 training takeaways’ so we can reinforce what he taught them.”

– Dawn Doty, VP and Partner, Linhart PR, Denver

My global media relations team only gets together once per year, so I had very high standards when looking for an outside expert to speak to us. Michael delivered. Our group repeatedly told me how much they enjoyed his outstanding half-day session and appreciated how down to earth he is as a presenter. They felt it was the best of our week together – very practical.”

– Paige Donnelly, Communications Manager, Novozymes, Raleigh, NC

When I first heard Michael teach pitching, I thought, ‘I need to hear more from this guy, whether it’s live, over the phone, recorded, I don’t care.’ Since I’ve joined the Inner Circle, Michael has helped me with subject lines and pitch emails that have landed in the WSJ and other top-tier outlets. During my last performance review my boss expressed that she was extremely pleased with the media relations work I’ve done over the past year and even cited what a difference the Inner Circle has made in my performance.”

– Raleigh Miller, PR Specialist, Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna, VA

Without a doubt Michael’s Inner Circle  is the best professional development out there. Conferences that cost $1,500 where you don’t learn a thing vs. an expert like Michael and access to other PR pros? No brainer! I can’t tell you how valuable the experience is – Michael is a truly gifted teacher. Also, I love the online forum, and having access to all the previous webinars is so helpful.”

– Christine Schneider, Account Director, Larson Communications, Chicago

Michael’s Inner Circle is the most effective vehicle I have ever used to connect with the outside intelligence I need to do my job more effectively, including thought, theory, opinion and technique. The two-times-a-month format allows for reinforcement of key ideas whereas something could get lost in the shuffle through a one-time workshop or in-person media panel. Having an expert to bounce a “pitch in progress” off of helped me land a USA Today feature story that wowed our client and won a Best in Show Regional PRSA Award. Separately, I applied a technique Michael advocated immediately after an Inner Circle session and uncovered a news hook that led to a Bloomberg Businessweek placement for one client and an ABCNews.com placement for another. The Inner Circle has also given me a network of media relations professionals facing similar challenges. When an Inner Circle colleague explains how they have achieved success, there are usually 3 or 4 takeaways that I can apply to my own challenges.”

– Adam Dvorin, Media Director, Winning Strategies Newark, NJ

When one of my clients just had to have a major media hit, Michael’s Inner Circle program gave me the knowledge to deliver a Reuters placement when the pressure was on. Michael is a master teacher. He teaches by principle, explains how the principle works with a real world example (usually one of his own), and then shows you how to apply it to your own situation. Michael has the unique ability of being able to dissect a tactic into its component parts so that you can immediately put it to work. Michael is my trusted adviser and secret weapon.”

– Ken Li, Director, Public Relations, Chempetitive Group, Chicago

The Inner Circle has been a big help, even more than I expected. Michael always provides solid strategic guidance and he keeps me up-to-date on the latest trends impacting my media outreach efforts. And the online forum has been a wonderful community to receive useful feedback from Michael and other professionals and to follow conversations and learn new ideas from my peers.”

– Alysa Reich, PR Senior Manager, NACE International, Washington, DC