Twitter: @HertzBarry, @nparts
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I’ve always wanted to make a living writing, so journalism seemed a natural fit when deciding what to study in university. (This was about two years before everyone decided to collectively wring their hands over the future of print. Timing is everything.) While I always considered the media as a backup to my real plan (screenwriting, another easy-to-enter industry), it wasn’t until midway through my four years at Ryerson that I began to give journalism some serious, this-could-be-a-career consideration.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
On a beach in Thailand, flush with riches from the gutsiest Casino Rama heist of all time. Or, you know, editing while working on a book or TV show on the side.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Never burn any bridges and always, always, always be sure to spell people’s names correctly. Plus, it never hurts to be open to criticism and know your way around a press conference.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Director Terry Gilliam is one of my idols, and getting the chance to speak with him for almost an hour (up from our scheduled 15 minutes) was one of those clichéd dream-come-true journalism moments.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Proofread your story twice before filing. Then proof it again.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Never check email after 10 p.m. But, it’s always 10 p.m. somewhere…
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
I think this point has been echoed by my Post colleagues, but please make sure you’ve actually read the publication you’re pitching to. I’ve yet to publish anything in the Post’s Arts & Life section on dog food, RV shows or how to pick up women at a chicken wing bar. It’s unlikely I ever will.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’ve dealt with a large number of PR reps who go above and beyond — rushing to get last-minute photo requests filled, sneaking me in a few minutes early for extra interview time, etc. PR reps and the media are both here to make everyone’s lives easier, and for the most part, Toronto’s PR community gets that.
15MB emails. And commuting. Two usually unrelated things.
Quiet nights filled with Breaking Bad and breakfast burritos.
Too many magazines. Maybe I’ll get around to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which is gathering dust on my nightstand. Or maybe not.
Best place on earth?
Trinity Bellwoods Park with a greasy bag of Chippy’s and mushy peas.
The New Yorker‘s David Grann.
Batman. You meant comic book hero, right?
Pool or ocean?
Pool. I like to see what’s lurking underneath.
Voicemail or email?