Janine Falcon is a freelance writer and beauty geek. As a past beauty editor at Canadian Living and Homemakers magazines, she’s now the Face Kit editor of the new digital health-and-beauty mag The Kit, and the founder/editor of BeautyGeeks, an award-winning blog. She’s appeared on Canada AM, Entertainment Tonight Canada, and Steven and Chris; written for Best Health, Fashion and Glow magazines; and been quoted in newspapers such as The Toronto Star, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen.
How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
It’s got to be an easy fit for one of the publications I write for. It also has to be unique or exclusive. Writing the same feature everyone else is writing is… uninspiring.
What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
Good humour and a positive attitude. Plus, appreciation when a PR somehow comes through on ridiculously short notice!
What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Incomplete press materials. Perfect press packages include newsworthy details, pricing, availability and product, if applicable. Pulling the old omit-the-price-so-someone-has-to-get-in-touch move makes us move on quickly to the next product instead, the one that came with all the information. (A 24-hour online source of high- and low-res images would also be helpful!)
When it comes to makeup and skin care, we need to examine texture, scent and efficacy to decide whether we can recommend it. Unfortunate things can happen otherwise: in a magazine several years ago, a beauty editor recommended a mascara designed to darken lashes for three days. She tried it after the magazine went to print and discovered the stuff was awful, super-tricky to remove after the three days. And when the story came out, she got letters from annoyed readers.
My pet peeve
More general than strictly PR-related: I’m a grammar geek as well as a beauty geek. “I wish I WOULD HAVE known” hurts me, it’s so wrong. I first started hearing it about eight years ago; now it’s terribly common. The correct way to say such a thing is “I wish I HAD known”.
I also have major issues with the misuse of the word “myself.” For instance, “just call Staff or myself.” Nope. You can’t call “myself” – I’m the only one who can call myself. But you can call Staff or ME.
Geez. I’m such a geek.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I’m pretty lucky. I work with so many pros who are on point, crazy-smart and reliable, and I’m in an industry full of talented and supportive friends. Amazing.