After receiving a master’s degree in magazine journalism, Lewis began her career as a freelance writer for publications such as Toronto Life, Saturday Night, Chatelaine and Canadian Business. She went on to work as executive editor of enRoute magazine and, in 1998, was appointed editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent.
An active volunteer, Lewis is a board member of the National Magazine Awards Foundation and co-founder of the Cervical Cancer Research Fund at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Last, but certainly not least, Lewis is the mother of two teenagers.
How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
Clear, concise and occasionally clever writing helps (the fewer exclamation marks the better). But first — read, read and read More some more. The more you understand our magazine, the more you’ll be able to see what makes sense for our audience (smart, accomplished women in their 40s and 50s), and hone the pitch appropriately.
What do you find useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
A sense of humour (just kidding!).
What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Imagine a butcher pitching his wares to a vegetarian restaurant. That happens in this business all the time when PR peeps don’t customize their sale. Latest example? Yesterday, I got a pitch for a cowl-necked nursing sweater. Yes, women over 40 do have babies, but I don’t see More as the target market for that product. We also get pitched on items that aren’t even available in Canada!
My pet peeve
PR peeps who act like they’re in the secret service. I get the need to protect celebs, wear headsets, etc., but it can be over the top in Toronto.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
My 16-year-old daughter is contemplating going into PR. I have taken her to a few events so she has seen the business in action. Let me know if she’s crazy. 🙂