Media, Darling: Maggie Wrobel

Maggie started at the Globe and Mail in 2005 as a copy-editing intern
on the night News desk.

She was also part of the team that launched Globe Life (the
paper’s daily lifestyle section) in 2007. She worked as the production editor in the Style section for
five years before moving to her current position as assistant Arts
editor in the newly merged Life & Arts section in March of last year. In her current role she assigns and edits Arts stories both
short and long, with a particular eye to popular culture and music.

Image source: Maggie Wrobel

Twitter: @maggiewrobel

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what
other careers were on the horizon?
In grade six, I wanted to work for the United Nations. By
the end of university, I was getting set to move to Africa and work for a
non-profit. But I’d always loved reading and writing, and spent several years
as a writer and editor at my university paper (UWO’s The Gazette).
 So, when I landed a summer copy-editing
internship at The Globe and Mail, I jumped on it. Eight years later, here I
still am.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
In the audience for Saturday Night Live‘s 43rd
anniversary special.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t pretend you know what someone is talking about when
you don’t. I don’t believe in ‘fake it till you make it.’ I think asking
questions is important – it shows you’re curious and willing to learn. I’d pick
genuine enthusiasm over bravado any day. That said: read. Read everything. And
then read some more.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own? 
The New York Times and New York Magazine are both leaders
in our field and offer much inspiration, especially in the ways in which
they’ve embraced digital content.


Newseum.org is a must-visit every morning, offering PDFs
of front pages from all over the world, and always leads to much surfing.


And I admit it surprised me, but Twitter has a great
rhythm for daily news, both high and low-brow.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I had a lovely interview last year with Laura and Kate
Mulleavy, the visionary sister act behind Rodarte. They were gracious,
interesting and genuinely down-to-earth.
As for bad interviews, they do happen, and for many
different reasons. But there’s always a way to make a story great. You just
have to find it.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was a young, eager up-and-comer, a colleague (now
friend) once told me she noticed I nodded a lot in meetings. I thought about
it, and she was right.
 I was trying to
seem encouraging and enthusiastic, but quickly realized that having a bit of a
poker face can actually be much more effective sometimes.
 Staying aware of your body sounds like a
silly thing, but the way you are perceived – even physically – can have a huge
effect on your career.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always, always be kind. It can be hard to put yourself
into other people’s shoes, but it is essential to at least try.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re pitching to and what they do. Read
mastheads, stay on top of Twitter and, if you still don’t know, ASK. You’d be
shocked how many people still think I’m the travel editor, a post I held for
less than two months more than four years ago. (For the record, the Globe’s
real travel editor is Domini Clark, who gives the world’s best advice on
everything from banking to, ahem, body language in meetings.)
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Anyone who gets me what I need on deadline becomes that
day’s hero.
I hate?
Short-sightedness and pasta salad.
I love?
My job!
Also: the J. Crew catalogue, BarreWorks (the only
happy-making gym in the world), Moleskins, brunch and watching the tiny
inflatable Raptor bounce at Raptors games.
Reading?
Always.
Best place on earth?
A diner on Saturday with a stack of pancakes and a new
magazine.
Dinner guest?
J.D. Salinger! I’d probably nod a lot.
Hero?
I am lucky to have many. My mom is the strongest woman I
know and my dad the nicest man. My friend Lori Mastronardi is an amazing
wordsmith and has the incredible ability to always see the good in people and
situations. I also get a lot of strength and inspiration from hip-hop, be it
coming-up stories like Kendrick Lamar’s or the unapologetically upper-class
rhymes on Watch the Throne.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these
days)?
 I make a mean playlist. My day would not be the same
without Rdio for BlackBerry.
Pool or ocean?
Both, preferably within walking distance of each other.
Voicemail or email?
 Email. Or lunch.
Theatre show or cultural event you’re most looking
forward to this year?
The Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip has all the makings of a
killer time. Can’t wait. (Ed. note: we agree!)

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