Media, Darling: Flannery Dean

Flannery Dean graduated from the University of Toronto with an M.A. in English Literature in 2001. Shortly after graduation, she decided to try her luck in the world of magazine journalism, though every once in a while she returns to the 12th floor of Robarts Library to fall asleep with a copy of The Canterbury Tales under her chin.

A freelance writer and editor, she’s written for TV and has contributed to CBC.ca, ELLE Canada, Chatelaine, Glow, Toronto Life, the National Post, Dogs in Canada, The Bark, and the Ottawa Citizen. She blogs daily for Chatelaine.com.

What was your favourite class in high school?
Any class I got kicked out of definitely makes the top five. So English, Biology, Geography, Gym, and French would qualify.
Why?
Short answer: No human being hated school as much as I did. I need to be free!

How did you get your start as a journalist?


Nepotism. My mother is a writer and when I graduated from U of T, she helped me get an internship at Where Toronto magazine. It was unpaid though, so nepotism has its limits.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Parasailing with George Clooney in Lake Como.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email is preferred. But I love to talk to a living breathing human being sometimes, too.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?

 
Saying no to my requests for an interview with their clients – that is just evil.

Sunrise or sunset?
I’m greedy, I want both – and all in one day.

Scent? 
Scent of a Woman by Al Pacino. Very exclusive. Only available to a select group of TBS viewers.

Cookie?
I will eat any cookie put in front of me and I’ll probably eat yours when you turn your head.

Flower? 
Peonies, hyacinth, irises, and everything currently blooming in my mother’s garden.


Ticklish?
Painfully. It’s a problem.

Shower or bath?
 
I’ve patented the decadent shower-bath. You start with a shower, then while the water’s running, you plug the tub and wallow in your own luxurious bilge water until someone tells you to get the hell out of the bathroom because you’ve been in there for at least an hour already.

Film?
Arthur (original). The Palm Beach Story. Topsy Turvy. I spent my youth watching TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies.

Crush?
Many! Currently Francois Arnaud, The Borgias. It’s possibly mutual as I’m pretty sure he winked at me during the season finale. 

First job? 
Dishwasher. Real confidence builder.


Inspiration? 
My mortality. 
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Media, Darling: Linda Luong

Linda Luong is the Editor-in-Chief of Where Toronto, Where Muskoka and Essential Toronto magazines, where she started seven years ago as an assistant editor. Prior to that, she worked at a children’s publication with Metroland and at Canoe.ca as a reporter. She is an avid pinner on Pinterest, Etsy shopper (her latest purchase was a Queen of a Quite a Lot print), magazine junkie, pink enthusiast, and has never come across a lemon dessert she could resist.  


Image courtesy of Edwin dela Cruz.

Twitter: @linda_luong

What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
Biology. I took it all the way through high school just so I could do dissection at the end of the year. Plus it made me feel smart talking about osmosis, cell division and homeostasis.

How did you get your start as an editor?
At Canoe.ca as a reporter during 9/11. It was the best on-the-job experience working in a busy newsroom, juggling multiple stories, deadlines, trying to stay on top of every new development.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
A baker. I am always baking something in my spare time – I’ve perfected peanut butter cupcakes recently, and my coconut cream cake and double chocolate brownies are often requested by my family and friends for gatherings.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email. It lets me digest the information in my own time and percolate potential tie-ins to upcoming editorial content. And if it’s a product pitch, please provide pictures – it helps to have a visual to go along with the message, especially if you’re going to reference a particular physical element.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are
no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Really understand a publication and its mandate and audience before pitching something. I get a lot of pitches for products and services that are great, but as our publications are for visitors, some things will just not apply to our readers.

Respect deadlines. If you promise to send information, images or samples for a photoshoot by a certain date, then please do. There’s nothing worse or more annoying than having to scramble to find something else to include in an issue at the last minute because something you were expecting didn’t come in on time.

Be realistic in your pitches – don’t over promise. Please don’t promise me an interview with somebody if you haven’t spoken to their people yet and gotten the go-ahead, or please don’t tell me that a product will be in stores by my publication date just to get it in, if it won’t be in stores until a few weeks after that.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise – I’m a morning person.

Scent?
Hermès’ Un Jardin Sur Le Toit.

Cookie?
Yes, please! Especially if they’re peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Flower?
Peonies.

Ticklish?
Absolutely.

Shower or bath?
Shower.

Film?
Officially, I say Scent of a Woman. Privately, I confess that it’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Crush?
Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Life and John Slattery from Mad Men.

First job?
Selling shoes at Naturalizer. I had never seen so much support hose in my life before that job.

Inspiration?

My grandma. She raised six kids on her own after being widowed at a young age, and at 85, she can still touch her toes with ease!