Members of the media and PR pros can be friends. Yes, really. That sentiment is the basis behind the “Media Moment,” a Q&A that gives our blog readers a better insight into some of our favorite journalists. We ask some questions and our media pals weigh in.
This month, we’re happy to introduce you to Lisa Iannucci. She’s a contributor to a variety of publications, including Travel Pulse, The Cooperator, Body & More, and the Poughkeepsie Journal. She’s also written 14 books and her “Film & TV Travel Guide” will be published by Globe Pequot Press in 2018.
1. Lisa, thanks for being our guest this month. Can you tell us about the work you do as a freelance writer?
Thanks for having me. I contribute to a variety of publications – and they can change at any time. I really only focus on a few topics: film/TV, travel, sports, and health. On the travel side, I contribute to Travel Pulse, Travel Jobs and Agent @ Home publications, and I run my own travel blog, The Virgin Traveler. I write about film/TV travel for Travel Pulse, and I write about film/TV and celebrities for FF2 Media, Reel Life With Jane and a few other sites here and there. I am currently writing a Film & TV Travel Guide for Globe Pequot Press and a series of specialized travel guides. Last, but not least, I co-host Sports Palooza Radio where I interview athletes and celebrities on sports topics and write about sports entertainment for GetMoreSports.com. Phew!
2. What brought you into the field of journalism?
I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t want to be a writer. I think I was 7 when I first said it. My goal was to be a screenwriter or TV writer, but life took me down the path of print publications and books and now web writing, too. But I haven’t given up that screenwriting or TV writing dream. I’m working on developing a few ideas there, too.
3. What are your favorite stories to share with your readers?
Honestly, I love writing about film/television so anytime I find a great new movie or TV show or ‘unknown’ director I get excited. I also love it when I interview someone famous and they tell me something that they don’t want the world to know. They trust me and that’s something I’ve built up in my life. I’m not going to tell your secrets that you don’t want told. I’m going to tell the story you want to tell and there are some great stories out there.
4. Name one fun fact that the average reader would not know about you.
I’m obsessed with cupcakes and baking. I’m always watching Cupcake Wars and all the Holiday Baking Championships on Food Network and making them at home with one of my daughters. On top of that, I finally got my Kitchen Aid mixer and now I have cupcake decorating equipment at home, too. Maybe that will be my next line of work!
5. We understand you have a travel website, thevirgintraveler.com. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
The Virgin Traveler is a site for the newbie older traveler who always wanted to travel, but life got in the way. Now, maybe the kids are grown or they finally have enough money to travel, but they don’t know where to start or how to use online sites such as Priceline or Hotwire. They may not even have a passport.
Honestly, it’s a site that’s also based my own journey. I wanted to travel a lot, but my husband died suddenly in 1999 and I had to raise three kids by myself on a writer’s salary. When my youngest graduated high school and went off to college, I realized it’s time to do what I’ve always wanted to do. I did travel with the kids, but not as much as I wanted to. Now I’m sharing my journey with other readers and they are sharing their stories with me. I’ve already interviewed other travelers with similar stories, including one woman who bought an RV and traveled 2,000 miles with her husband for the first time and another who sold her house and is traveling the world. On this journey, I realized I had a love for film/tv travel. Everywhere I go I look for film sites, museums, statues and more. That’s how the book came about.
6. Tell us – we promise not to hold it against you – what’s your biggest PR pet peeve?
I would prefer to be added to a mailing list that is appropriate to what I do (and asked first), but that’s not my biggest pet peeve. Lately, when I use services like HARO or ProfNet, I’m getting so many responses from people who are doing whatever they can to catch my attention, but it’s not related to anything I do. “I know this is probably not in your area, but I wanted to tell you about…” I get so many responses on my requests that it’s a waste of my time to pitch me on something I’m not looking for. It’s also against the rules of those sites. Stick to the rules and send me appropriate pitches, otherwise it’s going to annoy me.
7. How many hash tags are too many? (All of us at Impact are looking to impose a legal limit.)
In my tweets, I only use one or two. I think after that I don’t even look at the tweets anymore.
8. What do you love about living and working in the Hudson Valley?
I work from home so I can work from anywhere in the Hudson Valley I choose. Now that I’m traveling more, there are so many great places to just sit and write – the National Park, great restaurants that have Wi-Fi.
9. Name one “hidden Hudson Valley gem” that all locals and visitors ought to check out.
I always think that everyone knows the places that are hidden gems. I hope that people check out and support our national parks — the Eleanor Roosevelt Site, the home of FDR, the Martin Van Buren site in Kinderhook, etc.
10. If someone wants to follow you, how can they connect socially?
You can find me on Twitter at @virgintraveler and/or @galsportswriter.