Special Media, Darling post: Holidays, Part 2

Remember our special Media, Darling post from last week? Welcome to Part 2! We asked some of our contributors to share with us their holiday plans, New Year’s resolutions and hopes for 2011. Here is what they told us:
Jen McNeely

What’s your favourite holiday tradition?
Wearing a dumb hat from my cracker at the dinner table. It’s probably the only real tradition we have.

Favourite store to receive a gift from?
Store? I prefer spa. Body Blitz in Toronto or Scandinave in Collingwood.

How will you spend your time off?
In my jammies, with a cup of tea, rolling around the carpet with my husband and dog.


Rebecca Zamon

What’s your favourite holiday tradition? 
When I was a kid, it was my dad taking me to the Eaton’s Centre’s Toyland – it was this magical place where there was every Barbie I’d ever wanted. Now that I’m an adult, I enjoy the grown-up version of this; coming across the extravaganzas that are the holiday windows at The Bay and Holt Renfrew. They always depict a fantasyland that I just want to jump into.

Favourite store to receive a gift from? 

Anthropologie. Between the clothing and the home décor items and the jewellery, I have literally never left that store without buying something that I’ve continued to adore for years down the road. It’s a sure bet that if you get something for me there, I’ll love it.

How will you spend your time off? 

In New Orleans! My parents, my boyfriend and I are heading down to NOLA for five days, and I can’t wait to experience the food, music and southern culture.

 

What is your New Year’s resolution?  
I don’t exactly believe in resolutions. There’s this great quote from author Anaïs Nin: “I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.” I plan to spend 2011 doing just that – and add “by loving” to that list.
What was 2010’s highlight for you?
Twitter. Since joining in February, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting dozens of talented individuals in Toronto and connecting with many more throughout the country and abroad. Twitter has broken down barriers and made the industry (and the world)  a much more accessible place. For that, I am grateful.

What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
Next steps. New adventures. Leaps of faith. Great writers. Great writing. The last year before 2012. 

What is your New Year’s resolution? 
I don’t ever make New Year’s resolutions.  I try to take advantage of or create opportunities that come my way during the year.
What was 2010’s highlight for you?
So many good blog things happened in 2010, but I really loved my trip to Los Angeles this summer.
What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
It’s really short term, but I’m looking forward to my March ski vacation in Whistler.

What is your New Year’s resolution? 
I am a believer in New Year’s resolutions. It is one of the few common holiday traditions I like to take seriously. I usually try to choose something that is modest and measurable, making it easy to keep, but this year I’m feeling like I’m into audacious, broad, unmeasurable stuff. I want 2011 to be the year of YES. Whether asking or answering, I want my default setting to be on “just go for it”, and see what happens when I throw caution to to the wind and allow myself to be gutsy and uninhibited about doing what I want to do.
What was 2010’s highlight for you?
2010 was a mixed bag of a year for me, full of highlights and lowlights and sometimes no light. Above all, the highest point was also the lowest: the end of an eight-year relationship, a devastating moment that forced me to truly ask myself what I really wanted to do with my life, and then take some kind of action and move. Flying over the Atlantic for the first time to start a new life in a totally unfamiliar city has really been one of the most significant moments of my entire life so far.
What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
I’m looking forward to exploring a continent where everything is very old, but very new to me. Hello Europe, I’m coming over.

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Media, Darling: Anita Clarke

Anita Clarke is the founder and Editor in Chief of the popular Toronto fashion blog, I want – I got. She’s been called a Toronto Fashion Hero by Now Magazine, Woman of the Year by She Takes on the World and one of the Worthy 30 by Shinan Govani. She has spoken on the topics of fashion, marketing, PR and social media. In July 2009, she was featured in a window showcase for Holt Renfrew that was shown in stores across Canada.
Blog: I want I got 
Twitter: @geekigirl
How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
First off, pitches that get my attention are, most importantly, relevant to my blog. They are well-crafted and not verbose. All the information I need is usually included in the pitch. 
I love PR companies that use flickr or other storage methods to provide me with all relevant images and press releases, without having to write a reply email. I also love pitches that provide me just the facts and no opinion. I’ve received many pitches where the writer proclaims that I’ll just love the product. That usually makes me more skeptical, as I like to come to these decisions myself.
  Anita in front of her Holt Renfrew Fashion Blogger window.
What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
I like that they can provide more information that would be hard to research otherwise. They really can add value to a post with images, samples and additional information. They provide access to designers, events, etc. and that offers lots of value for a post.
What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Not respecting my time. I think many people assume that I blog for a living when in reality, I have a full time job. I believe this is the case for the majority of bloggers. 
Sending pitches that are irrelevant to my site. 
Lack of respect for online media. If online media exposure isn’t important, then don’t engage them. Treating them as second class citizens doesn’t help your company or the brand you are representing.
The “mailing list method” of PR. You get more results with well researched and crafted pitches, rather than the email blast to everyone and their mother.
Your pet peeve?
I hate it when a PR company emails and says “I love/read your blog”, which is then followed up with a totally irrelevant pitch. It really leaves a bad impression for me, because they are obviously lying. Let the product do the talking instead of sucking up to my ego.
I have a fashion blog, but please don’t send me pitches that have to do with celebrity fashion.
I hate press releases in image format. Copy and paste are important to me.