Maryam Siddiqi is the editor of Post Toronto and the deputy managing editor of the Features Department at the National Post. She first started at the Post eight years ago as the managing editor the paper’s business magazine. Prior to that she worked in public relations. Extracurricular activities include drum lessons. She can play a fairly accurate rendition of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Cool.
How did you get your start as an editor?
After university, I completed the post-grad PR certificate program at Humber. I worked in PR for three years and hated it, so I completed Ryerson’s Magazine Journalism continuing education program, then got an internship at Saturday Night magazine. As that came to an end, I sent a few freelance pitches here and there, including one to the National Post’s business magazine. Luck, timing and a solid story pitch landed me an interview with the magazine’s editor (his managing editor had just resigned), who hired me.
If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Writing for TV. (It’s my hope, anyway.) Or urban planning.
Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email, please. I’m really not a phone person.
We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Please take no as an answer. I know you think your story is really important, but sometimes I don’t (sorry!). Plus, I’m dealing with you times, like, 30, so if I turn down a pitch and you come back to me with it, well… it’s going to make me not want to run the story just that much more.
Don’t send emails bigger than three or four MB. If you’ve got lots of photos or PDF’s attached to an email, find out if there’s a group mailbox you can send it to. Send me a 12MB message and it paralyzes my email and makes me not like you.
If something can be sent electronically, please do so. At times, I feel like I’m responsible for a not-insignificant pile of landfill with all the press material I get.
Please contact me at my work email, not my personal email, not on Facebook.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Scent? Bond No. 9’s Fire Island or L’Occitane Green Tea with Mint.
Cookie? Can’t go wrong with PC Decadent chocolate chip, but if I’m looking for something healthier I love Whole Foods’ spelt ginger snaps.
Shower or bath? Shower.
Film? Grosse Point Blank. Or 28 Days Later. (Scares me every time.)
Crush? Cute boys with English accents. Specifically, Henry Cavill.
First job? My very first pay cheque came from McDonalds. I was a cashier.
Inspiration? People who take action instead of just talking.