After attaining years of experience in the media while working as a freelancer for renowned magazine publications like Lucky, Amy Flurry was onto something – as an editor, she knew what it took to garner press; by using the right approach, providing the right tidbits of information and by cultivating close, authentic relationships with journalists. After reading Amy’s debut book, “Recipe for Press,” we couldn’t wait to interview. That Working Girl had a wonderful time chatting with the media maven and author about her success, what it takes to write a book and ways to get ahead in the media industry. Q: Did you always know that you were cut out for a career in the media? How did you get to where you are now?
A: I don’t have a background in PR, but I freelanced for various magazines for 18 years. My work as a freelancer actually informed the book (Recipe for Press); I saw how important it was to get press for small businesses. As a freelancer, I would sometimes write about the same people or businesses three or four times, and really got a feel for how important this press was to them. During that time I also noticed how so many people didn’t know how to approach an editor the right way – people would clam up – so they would hire pricey PR firms when they really didn’t have the funds to do so, and were disappointed when it didn’t work out. After seeing so many people approach me the wrong way during my time as an editor, I realized that I could lend my expertise to others. Since then, I have written “Recipe for Press,” conducted workshops, seminars and speaking engagements on the topic of getting press, DIY-style.
Q: What was it like working with Lucky magazine? We love everything that Eva Chen has been doing with the publication!
A: Lucky was a game-changer at the time I began working with them – it was a new format for magazines that was very reader-engaged. Lucky also didn’t just focus on big cities like New York City, Chicago or LA. They would look to their regional editors to scour smaller businesses and boutiques all over the country to feature a more varied array of brands.
Q: Why did you decide to write “Recipe for Press,” and what was your creative process like while writing the book?
A: Because of my long history in publishing, I knew that I didn’t need an agent or book deal to make “Recipe for Press” happen. How I looked at it was if I could produce an 8-page article for a magazine, I could write the book. I looked at the book in very small segments, and that’s how I got it done. I also knew that I wanted “Recipe for Press” to be driven by images and illustrations. It took nine months to write the book and get it published from start to finish, and I definitely used my editor’s point of view while writing.
Q: What are your best tips for maintaining a work-life balance?
A: Personally, I don’t strive for a lot of balance, but I know that when I’m with people, I want them to feel loved and that they have my undivided attention. Entrepreneurs can work all the time, but I had to learn how to make time, whether this meant that I needed to delegate things to others or take time off to travel. I found creative ways to travel, like taking 6 to 8 weeks at a time to explore a new city or culture are disconnect.
Q: For women pursuing a PR or media-related career in their early 20s, how can they best prepare themselves to get ahead of the competition now?
A: Realize early on that this industry is all about creating relationships – figure out what you can do for people, not necessarily what they can do for you. Truly care about people, and for the long term – you need people to succeed. Also, show up to work on time, and show that you’re happy to be there. It goes a very long way.