PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

On Giving Back

Normally, I like to blog several times in the week, but a recent project (amongst other things) has been taking up my free time. Before I talk about the project, I’ll preface it by saying I’m pretty bad at saying no. I’ve been getting better at learning how, but this was one thing I couldn’t turn down.

About the Project

I’m proud to be part of the volunteer PR team for the Shinsky Orphanage. John Shinsky is an MSU alumnus who literally has been overcoming the odds his entire life. When he was eight years old, his father died and his overwhelmed mother put him in an orphanage. After entering the foster system, John worked and worked to earn a football scholarship at MSU. He then went on to a career in education and now teaches at GVSU. He recently beat cancer and is now biking 2,000 miles with two other friends from the MSU football team to Matamoros, Mexico to build an orphanage there.


The 2,000 mile bike ride from Michigan State Stadium in East Lansing to the “The City of Children Orphanage” in Matamoros, Mexico shows the passion and commitment so many people have for building and supporting the orphanage. These kids are going to have an incredible opportunity because of John and the people of the project. Every day, John asks himself, “Is there anything I’m doing that makes my life worthwhile?” On the Web site, John said, “what matters is that we use those gifts to make a positive impact on people’s lives; whether it’s an individual or a group of people. I am fortunate to have been in tough situations where I could work and overcome them. Some people don’t get that chance.”

John Shinsky is the real deal. My short summary doesn’t do the guy justice. Read more about why he’s doing what he’s doing here.

What I’m Learning

I wish I can preach about how I volunteer hours and hours in any given week and work with different nonprofit organizations, but the reality of my situation is that I’m unable to commit a set number of hours per week to another organization. I can, however, use my skills in a way that can help other people. And that, is what I have come to find out, is so great about public relations.

How many times have you hear negative things about PR? Whether it’s crappy pitches, or unethical behavior; it can sometimes be disheartening to see and hear such bad things about what I want to do with my career. This project, however, has shown me the incredible capabilities I have as a practitioner. I’m starting to pitch the media this week, and it feels so good to have a heartfelt story that journalists would be crazy to turn down.

The Point

Working with John has been an incredible experience for so many reasons. First of all, he really shows his true passion for helping the children out and engaging his fellow Spartans to help him in his effort. Even better is that I’m getting hands-on public relations experience with a great team.

More than anything else, he made me question, “Is there anything I’m doing that makes my life worthwhile?” It’s easy to get caught up in trying to be the best students we can be, but it is these kinds of projects that are truly fulfilling.For more information on the fundraising bike ride, check out the site here. And for the orphanage Web site, check it out here.

I know this post isn’t what I normally write about, but I was compelled to share the goods things coming from this project. How do you volunteer and give back while balancing everything? Any good stories out there?


Filed under: Public Relations, , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Becky Johns says:


    In the two and a half years I’ve known you, I’ve seen you do nothing but give back. Whether it’s your tireless devotion to PRSSA, your commitment to giving 200% to every project you’re involved in, or simply being a teacher and leader in the office at The State News, I have seen you do nothing but use your talents and time to improve the lives of others. With the amount of activities and organizations you are involved in, the most precious thing in your life is your time. When you take time out of your day to do things like teach me some new tricks on social media or write a letter of recommendation for a peer or make sure to show up and lend a hand to a PRSSA project, the people around you are noticing.

    You are a talented and intelligent person, and down to your very core, you want to help others more than you want to help yourself. This is why you’re so good at PR. Be proud of the work you’ve done to give back to your community, and don’t worry about whether it’s “enough” right now. You have your whole life ahead of you to dive in deeper with volunteering.

  2. nicklucido says:

    Becky, you just made me blush. Thanks.

  3. Gary Mescher says:


    Thanks for not saying “no” when asked to be part of this orphanage project. You have been a tremendous resource for the Shinsky PR team – a real leader. You are building a great name for yourself in the process. Thanks again…

    Gary Mescher

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