Media, Darling: Shel Zolkewich

Shel
Zolkewich wears two hats: the fancy fedora of a marketing consultant and the
battered ball cap of a freelance writer. She helps her marketing clients with
all the usual tools of the trade: strategies, Websites, campaigns and media
relations. On the writing side, it’s about the outdoors, travel and food. She’s
an avid angler and hunter and wishes she had a third arm to hold the
ever-present camera. Her heart lies in the North where there are small
airplanes, muddy roads and feisty Northern Pike.
Twitter: @shelzolkewich

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon?
I
remember flipping through that “What Do You Want to Be” binder in high school and
getting excited about the prospect of being an undertaker. I’m not kidding!
I’ve always been a little obsessed with medicine and anatomy. But the course
was really long and I’m kind of lazy, so I settled on the Creative
Communications course at Red River College in Winnipeg instead. And just so you
know, I failed journalism.


Where would you like to be five years from now?
I
like the path I am on right now. The marketing stuff is filled with new
technology and interesting projects. I’m a writer at heart, so being able to
keep my hand in the game is important. I’ve been doing some teaching lately and
loving it. Basically, more of the same in the next five years, with a little
more adventure travel, I hope.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Work
hard, listen to the old folks, work hard, embrace every little bit of new
technology, work hard.


What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? (i.e.: what do
you read/listen/watch?)
Admittedly,
I’m a Twitter junkie. I’m an early riser and it’s like having coffee with
thousands of my dearest friends. They let me know what’s going on in the world.
I visit the Winnipeg Free Press site daily and The Globe & Mail site a
couple of times a week.


Best interview you’ve ever had?
Very
early in my career, I interviewed a gentleman who had lost his daughter to a
drunk driver. At the end of our chat, he asked me how old I was. Then he
reached out, took my hands in his and said “She would have been exactly your
age.” That moment taught me a couple of things: always listen, know that you
can make a connection to another human being at any minute and be thankful for
what you have in this life right now.


Worst?
I
wouldn’t want to single out anyone in particular, but I get very annoyed with
interviewees give off that ‘are we almost done, I’m really bored, you are small
potatoes and I don’t really care’ vibe. If you’ve agreed to the interview, give
it your best, no matter who is interviewing you. One day they could become
Anderson Cooper.


Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Make
hay while the sun shines.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Make
hay while the sun shines.
There’s
always someone way worse off than you.
Give
and you shall receive.


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
As
that old song goes, give the people what they want. If I ask for images that
are about one MB, please don’t send me 32 K snaps from the website. I try to
work as efficiently as possible, because as a freelance writer, it’s simply not
lucrative to be a pokey Joe. If I have to ask for the same information a couple
of times, my bottom line is shot. PS: Samples work.


Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’m
not weaseling out on this one because I’m being honest when I say the PR folks
that I deal with are ALL top-drawer pros; I really can’t single anyone out.
They’ve saved my tail more than once when I’ve up against a deadline, sending
me last-minute images and info. The travel PR people have taken chances on me
as a freelance writer, hoping I’ll eventually find an outlet and earn my keep
for that fabulous Caribbean trip. It’s about being partners. I love you guys!


I hate?
 
Waiting. Impatience is my Achilles heel. That’s why I hunt; it teaches
me patience.


I love?
 
Twitter


Reading?
 
The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven. I’m a sucker for anything about
Canadian history, exploration or adventure.


Best place on earth?
 
Lake St. George in central Manitoba


Dinner guest?
 

Elvis Aaron Presley


Heros?
 
My mom and dad.


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
The Weather
Network. I’m a Manitoban and we’re a little nutty about the weather.


Pool or ocean?
 
Ocean. But a northern Manitoba lake is even better.

Voicemail or email? 
Email, oh please, email.

Media, Darling: Jeremy John

Breakfast Television Winnipeg host Jeremy John wakes Winnipeggers up with a smile each and every
morning!


John’s love of storytelling and meeting interesting and
diverse people makes him a perfect fit for Breakfast Television. A Brantford,
Ontario native, John graduated from the Radio Broadcasting program at Humber
College in Toronto. Prior to joining the Citytv team, John has held a variety
of radio and television positions including stints at Rogers Television, 680News, CHFI, The Fan 590, KISS 92.5, 97.7 The Beach, SunTV, and A Channel.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his family,
watching live theatre, and is a fan of just about any sport including hockey,
basketball and football. He is also a proud supporter of various local
charities including The YMCA, The Salvation Army and The Humane Society, as well as
local community theatre.
A few fun interesting facts you may not know is that John once worked as a giant jelly bean, got punched by “Tiger” Williams and put in a
headlock from John Cena, swam in a pool of cranberries, acted in a live weekly
theatre soap opera and competed multiple times in the World Championship of
Rock, Paper, Scissors.


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other
careers were on the horizon? 
I wanted to be an actor. I thought that Canadians just
move to Hollywood and become famous.  Ended up in theatre school, hung out
with a lot of unemployed actors and decided to give radio a try instead.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Here. In a bigger house. With nicer clothes. 
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be ready and able to do anything. Learn as many skills
as possible. The person who can write and host and shoot and edit will
get the job sooner than the person who can do less.
Also be a solution person, not a problem person. If
there is an issue, bring it to the boss. But make every effort to bring a
solution along with you. It may not be the perfect solution but the boss
should see you as a person who always has an answer
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own? 
I watch/read/listen to all the local stations, newspapers,
blogs. I also am a big fan of lots of the CBC programming, sites like
reddit and boing boing
      
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Cheech and Chong were fun, so were The Wiggles, but for very
different reasons. I’m a huge Blue Jays fan so interviewing Hall of Famer
Roberto Alomar standing in the infield of Shaw Park was a very big deal to me.
Plus, he was super nice and hung out telling stories before and after the
interview.  
Worst?
Anyone who complains about having to get up early to be on
our show. Sorry, honestly I am, but we’re here and ready for you. The least you could do is put on a happy face for the camera.
  
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Fire it before it quits – a Roz Weston from KISS 92.5 quote
talking about my rapidly receding hair line. I started shaving it that weekend.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Family first. Fifty years from now I won’t regret not
putting in more overtime. I would regret missing a T-ball game or an
afternoon at the park.
  
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Make me understand how this is a benefit to my
audience. Focus on how this will improve the life of my audience and the
rest takes care of itself. The single focus should be the benefit to the
viewer.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Whenever the PR folks give me choices. Give me
different ideas about how to present your info. You know your product, I
know our show. Together we can make great bit of TV!
I hate?
People who make my job harder. If you do your work
properly, than I can do mine.
I love?
Making the control room laugh, intentionally or not. It’s great to hear the very busy people (who normally aren’t really giggly)
laughing at something I’ve done.
Reading?
Right now? Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu and Stephen
Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.
Two books at the same time, you ask? One in the upstairs
bathroom, one in the downstairs bathroom. Hey, you asked!
Best place on earth?
In the stands with my family at the ball park.


Dinner guest?

My wife. I know, you think I’m boring right. But
she’s really fun, she likes me a lot and I don’t get to see her nearly
enough. If I have to make a second choice, I would pick Eddie Vedder
Hero?
Terry Fox. It’s a cliché for a Canadian to say that,
but he’s a hero if ever there was one. A teenage kid who did so much for
cancer research.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
New stuff every day. Right now playing Monsters Ate My Condo, and Sid Meyers’ Pirates! 
Pool or ocean?
Pool – I hate jelly fish.
Voicemail or email?
I can ignore emails easier, so I prefer that. If you
need to get a hold of me, you should probably call.