“Don’t listen to the negativity if this is what you want to do”
What do you hope to get out of the new relaunched Media Kitty?
I had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Media Kitty when they were first starting up, and have been a member and fan ever since. That said, I love the new user-friendly and more photograph-rich format. Whether I am reading about general travel trends, seeing what FAM trips are coming up, or looking for freelance opportunities, the new look really brings all of the written content alive.
How can Media Kitty members work with you?
I put up a web site, ElyseGlickman.com, in 2007 to showcase my work through the years, and give publicists and editors an idea of the quality and diversity of work I produce. I encourage them to email me, or call with any pitches on the topics I cover, including gastronomy, beverages/cocktails, Jewish topics, wellness, light adventure travel and men’s executive travel. I also have fellow writer friends who cover topics I don’t, and will be happy to make introductions.
How have you benefited from being a Media Kitty member? Who have you met or what opportunities came about?
As a Media Kitty member, I have gotten to know a variety of PR agencies that not only handle travel but also have other clients that key in to the various publications I write for.
What challenges do you face in your role?
Ageism can be an issue, especially in the Los Angeles market. With that, my strategy is to remind people about what I have achieved and what I can still offer them in terms of my experience, producing multiple placements for a given trip or event, and the quality of the final articles. Also, showing that even at my age, I am still up on web content and social networking trends, and people in my peer group are looking at my contributions.
What are the achievements in your job that you are most proud of?
At 32 years old, I had a relatively late start in travel writing and got my first breaks when my editors were invited on various trips they could not attend. I knew that I had to knock these assignments out of the proverbial park. Fourteen years later, I am proud of the fact that those editors, and others I have worked with since, trust me to produce interesting pieces that make readers feel as if they are in that spot with all five senses. Furthermore, I grew up with a learning disability. When I mentioned I always wanted to go abroad, I was told by adults that I should, “never set my sights too high.” I believe anything is possible, as long as you are committed to what you do.
What changes and trends are you noticing in the market and your work networks?
The internet and social networking has profoundly affected most people I know in journalism, including travel and leisure journalists. It’s affected many writers’ ability to find work that pays fairly and be competitive. However, I decided to roll with the punches and stay on top of those trends as best I can, and be as active in social media as possible.
What is your number one tip for working more efficiently?
Have iPhone and iPad, will travel—and always, always, always have chargers and adapters with you. Besides transcribing the interviews and writing my story outlines and/or first drafts on plane rides, I seek out and use as many useful apps for both devices that will make my job easier and more efficient. Essential apps everybody should have are language lesson programs (for whatever country you happen to visit), measurement and currency converters, tape recording converters and anything that will boost social media presence.
In what ways does your job differ now from when you started out in your profession?
I do more web content, and keep up with social networking trends as well as new software and photo equipment. It’s more of a 24-7 scenario than it was a decade ago, even when you are your own boss.
What hurdles have you had to overcome in your career?
There are always going to be hurdles. As a child and teen, I was constantly reminded of my disability and discouraged from attending a university or pursuing a writing career. When I graduated with my Syracuse University/SI Newhouse Master’s, there was a job shortage. When I arrived in Los Angeles a few years later, I encountered nepotism at the first PR firms I worked at. In 2009, several of my outlets closed when the economic crisis hit. And at 47, there’s the aforementioned competition with younger writers. You can dwell on how unfair life is, or you can just do the best you can, weather the setbacks and move forward and try for the next opportunity.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your profession?
Journalism’s job market is competitive. Some say it is a dying industry, and others may discourage you because of news reports on the shuttering of newspapers, and so on. Don’t listen to the negativity if this is what you want to do, and you know you’ve got the talent to do it. Follow your heart.
What inspired you to work in this area?
My parents introduced me to ethnic cuisines early in my life, and I acquired a taste for spice and savory things. I have always been intrigued with how the foods I try on FAM trips and in my own travels are outgrowths of the cultures of these regions. Also, when I was six, my mother read me her letters about her travels through Europe on her own a decade earlier. Back then, it was considered a bold thing for a woman in her early twenties to travel through the continent alone. I was also fascinated by the fact that years after she made that one trip, she had maintained friendships with so many of the people she met.
What is your favourite travel destination (So Far)?
It’s really impossible to pick a favourite. As far as North America goes, I love Santa Fe and the Canadian Maritime provinces. When it comes to Europe, I will never get tired of Italy or Spain. In Asia, I love the color and cuisine of the big cities, include Taipei, Shanghai, Seoul and Bangkok. However, there is something wonderfully decadent and restorative about trips I have made to resorts like Chiva Som in Thailand, Nusa Dua in Bali and Turtle Island, Fiji, where your job is to take in the food and culture in a much more relaxed way.
What is your top travel tip?
When traveling coach on U.S. domestic flights, Trader Joe’s or a comparable store, is your friend. You can pick and choose from a variety of very portable sandwiches and snacks, and eat really well on those long flights.
What is on your bucket list?
Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey and the Himalayan regions of India.
Connect with Elyse on Media Kitty!