Media, Darling: Angie Smith

Angie Smith joined the daytime talk show The Marilyn Denis Show in the summer of 2012 as a senior segment producer and on-air fashion expert.


Five years leading up to her current post, Smith reported on high profile events for Entertainment Tonight Canada including the Grammys, the Oscars and international Fashion Weeks. She’s chatted with numerous fashion icons like photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, Oscar de La Renta, Kenneth Cole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Essie Weingarten, Ivanka Trump, Jenna Lyons, Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum and [one of her personal favorites] media mogul Barbara Walters. Smith’s talent reaches beyond celebrity-style with a primary focus on consumer awareness. In 2011, she was featured on Livedress.com about body-types and swimwear. In 2007, she produced a mini-series on the hidden health issue of “skinny-fat” for ET Canada and a two-part series on a model who survived a brain hemorrhage. 

Most recently, she hosted an evening of discussions at America’s Next Top Model Live in Toronto. Smith also partnered with GAP Canada to give shopping tips as part of a cross-province shopping event. One of the best parts of my job is the story-telling,” says Smith. “I also love a good transformation – knowing that someone walks away feeling educated from a story I put together, or that they feel better about themselves in some way.”

Prior to her start in lifestyle journalism, Smith interned at 48 Hours Investigates in New York City. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism and an Honours degree in Media, Information and Technoculture from The University of Western Ontario as well as an Ontario Certificate in Writing.

Website: www.marilyn.ca

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
I blame my grandparents for my career choice. When I was very young they got me a subscription to National Geographic and I was hooked on the concept of ‘journalism.’ I started interviewing my family, and anyone that came to the house, using a microphone and tape recorder. In university I did consider law – consider being the key word. And now after working in the media and realizing our pay scale, I’ve contemplated stripping…

Where would you like to be five years from now?
In a house with a lot of cats. 

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t shy away from internships.  We’ve all been there (I started as a script runner for Breakfast Television) and they get that foot in the door to show ‘em what you’ve got.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
Dateline NBC, 48 Hours Investigates, HGTV, National Geographic and The Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
Katy Perry. Hands down.

Worst?
Marisa Tomei. Hands down.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ― Dalai Lama XIVThe Art of Happiness
And, “you’ll get over it.”  You can really get over anything by changing your state of mind.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I don’t have specific rules, but I read The Art of Happiness quite often. I can now flip to specific chapters when certain situations arise. It’s a game changer. But my goal is always happiness and learning/understanding others.  

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Never hesitate with sending pitches – they will likely end up in the right hands one way or another. But try to make sure you know your audience (who is reading the pitch).

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
One PR* pro I know quite well stepped in to ‘model’ in one of my ET Canada segments to ensure the best brand/client representation – it showed real heart and dedication to her role.  I held on to her name/card for years knowing that no matter where she went she would be an extremely reliable contact. *Now a member of rock-it promotions, actually.

I’ve also experienced PR companies sending over props and clothing last minute to help make the best TV segment possible. I’m at the point where I can rely on specific agencies (like rock-it) to go above and beyond in ensuring all areas of a segment come together perfectly – even if it’s not all entirely related to their client.

I hate?
Mushrooms and the idea of veal.

I love?
My husband, cats, poutine, my MDS family and cheese.

Reading?
Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and my Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill.

Best place on earth?
Ordering line at a chip truck OR anywhere else with my husband Rick and family – road trips, the lake house…the list could go on and on.

Dinner guest?
Anthony Robbins – is he really that tall?

Hero?
My mother (cliché but true in this case).

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I prefer online shopping. I’m obsessed with gilt.com, zara.com/hicanada, and beyondtherack.ca

Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Unless the pool is mine all mine.

Voicemail or email?
Email. I never check my voicemails…to the point where they time out and delete themselves before I even know they existed.
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Media, Darling: Jill Dunn

Jill Dunn is an award winning Toronto-based writer and editor. She got her start working at ELLE Canada, and then worked as beauty editor at Glow magazine for several years. Currently she’s at the helm of 29Secrets.com, a women’s beauty and lifestyle site, and is a resident beauty expert on the Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Her freelance work has appeared in Hello! Canada, Canadian House & Home and Sympatico.ca, among others.


Twitter: @jilld_tweets; @29secrets

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?

For a time I wanted to be a lawyer; glad that didn’t pan out. Would have been bored to tears.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Would still like to be creating content – the exact platform, I can’t say definitively. As a true Gemini, I can’t commit to anything too far in advance. Would also like to get a few more stamps in my passport between now and then.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?

Be proactive and take every opportunity that comes your way. Competition is tough, so you really need to go above and beyond to shine and land the job of your dreams. Also learn as much as you can about video content (script writing/producing/editing). You’ll be that much further ahead.

What are your favourite media outlets?

I get a lot of headlines via various journalists I follow on Twitter, therefore the news outlets I read vary from day to day. Generally speaking, for hard news my go-to pubs are: thedailybeast.com, globeandmail.com and nytimes.com. Magazines: Grazia, British Vogue, various versions of ELLE, Flare and Fashion. Juicy stuff: xojane.com, fashionetc.com, and dailymail.co.uk. TV: 60 Minutes and E! Fashion Police – equally informative.

Best interview you’ve ever had?

This is going back about eight or nine years, but Oscar de la Renta. He had anecdotes for everything. You would think he would be so bored of media interviews, but he was gracious, charming and generous with his answers – we talked for 30 minutes, which is kind of unheard of with someone so high profile. And recently, I met Pat McGrath in New York. I didn’t get to interview her one-on-one, but she did apply my lipstick. For a beauty editor, that’s about as good as it gets.

Worst?

Christina Aguilera.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?


Do what you said you would do when you said you would do it.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?


Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” – Elizabeth Taylor

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?


Build personal relationships with editors, tailor your pitch and take it easy on the exclamation points. Also, educate your clients about ways to leverage online opportunities. I find a lot of PR pros and their respective clients think that online coverage is “free” or somehow less valuable than print. In a growing number of instances, online outlets are just as influential as print pubs. Plus, you reach a wider audience, for a longer period of time, so there is inherent value in that. 

 
Also very helpful for agencies: updating editors semi-annually of which clients you’re representing and the key contact for each. The nature of agencies is that they’re constantly changing clients/staff, so keeping editors in the loop is always good practice

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.


I love it when I write an email request and I get a prompt reply back saying: “Working on it; will keep you posted.” That acknowledgment puts my mind at ease and shows that the PR pro respects my deadline. Overall, I have very good experiences with the PR pros I deal with regularly.

I hate?


Embargos. I think they serve little to no purpose in this day and age of instant information. If I’m excited about something, I want to talk about it at my leisure (within reason, of course). Often I go to events months and months in advance of something launching, but by the time it hits shelves, I barely remember what I was excited about in the first place.

I love?

Kitchen parties, Three’s Company reruns, Jeopardy!, sharp wit and Skype dates with friends who live too far away.

Reading?

Just read The Marriage Plot. Up next: Half-Blood Blues.

Best place on earth?

A stretch of secluded beach on PEI during the summer.

Dinner guest?

The entire cast of Bridesmaids. I’d be flanked by Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm.

Hero?


My mom (doesn’t everyone say that?).

Favourite app?

Obsessed with Pinterest (follow me: @jmdunn00), Songkick and Words With Friends. Also like OneSpout – app for consolidating daily deals.

Pool or ocean?


Ocean. Salty air is good for the body and mind.

Voicemail or email?

Email, please. It’s efficient, and I like having a copy of correspondence to refer back to. 

Fashion-able: Twitter accounts to live and dress by

There are tweets that make us laugh out loud (LOL if you will, as per 140-character Twitter standards), those that make us cringe and those that we cannot help but click on the shared link or image every time. Especially when they’re fashion-related. We’ve rounded up a list of our favourite and fashion-able Twitter accounts that we rely on for style inspiration, or just a good laugh.



While not strictly fashion-related, all tweets deal with the “trauma” of a spoiled woman, be it a scuffed Manolo or not being able to get a reservation at Balthazar‘s. Example number one: ‘They just tried to kick me out of the gym for smoking on the treadmill. ‘. Example number two is the true epitome of this poor little white girl: ‘I literally just ate so much water. ‘. A must-follow for a daily laugh (and reality check).


For the skinny (fashion pun intended) on top tier designers – think Miuccia Prada, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs – and their latest collections and collaborations, this is the account to follow. NY-based and best at spilling the news before it can walk down the runway, @Fashionista_com will always keep you in the trendy know.

Our Canadian fashion publications are our number one fashion news source. Featuring local designers and stores, Dorothy said it best: There’s no place like home.


People Magazine’s style guide lets us kill two birds with one stone – celebrities and designer duds. Can’t beat getting our celebrity fix and fashion fix, all in one.

Both have a way with words and work in PR. With content that makes us laugh and updates on their respective brands, we are forever entertained by these girls. Based on their huge amounts of followers, we garner that everyone else thinks so, too.

One of the happiest people we know (or wish we did), Betsey’s upbeat attitude, inspirational quotes and fashion-centric twitpics always leave us smiling more and wanting to do cartwheels.

For those into more funky fashion finds, this might tickle your fancy. Always sharing the most interesting collaborations and keeping us on our toes (when not wearing heels), this account will keep you ahead of the trend and #WQW ready.



There are so many more fashion tweeps that we follow, but we can’t list ’em all, so share your comments on who is your favourite of the fashion Twitterati.