Tara MacInnis is the Associate Fashion and Beauty Editor at FLARE, a Canadian online fashion magazine published by Rogers Communications. Originally from Nova Scotia, her dad’s job moved her all over the world while she was growing up. Tara lived in several Canadian cities, as well as Virginia and Australia. Seven years ago, she moved to Toronto to study journalism and she’s been there ever since. Tara has been with FLARE for the past three and a half years and tells Women in PR that every day brings exciting and new challenges. She loves the fast-paced world she gets to be a part of and shares a look into her day with us!
Name: Tara MacInnis
Title: Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor
Describe yourself in 3 words: Determined, thoughtful and curious
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University, Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University
What was your first job and what did you take away from the experience? – After four internships (Canadian Living, the National Post, Cosmetics Magazine and ELLE Canada), my first job was at a PR firm! I had only been working there for about three months when the founder decided to downsize and I was laid off, but it was a blessing in disguise because the work wasn’t really a good fit for me. My first job in journalism was at Walmart Live Better magazine, and that’s where I learned how to write service-based fashion and beauty features, how to ask great interview questions, and how a magazine works, start to finish.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Try not to take things so personally, and stand up for yourself more.
How do you prioritize and start your work day? – I always check Instagram, Twitter, and all my go-to fashion and beauty news sites to look for stories we should be covering. If there is something, I’ll work on producing a piece related to it, and if not, I go about my daily tasks, which usually consist of reading about new launches, editing and writing longer-term stories, meeting with our team to discuss upcoming projects and stories, and going to events.
Have you had any challenges in your career? Any specific challenges as a woman in the industry? How did you overcome them? – I am lucky to work in an industry mostly populated by women, so it has always been a safe and inclusive environment for me to learn and to grow in. One of the biggest challenges is navigating the media landscape, as it seems like it’s been in constant flux since I started working in the industry. Every day, there’s something new to learn about digital publishing and social media, and it takes a lot of effort to stay up to date. I love it, but it’s hard work.
What is one of the greatest misconceptions about your field? – I think the greatest misconception about the media is that we don’t care about content anymore–that we only care about “clickbait.” At least at FLARE, that is not our main concern. We are still hugely focused on producing meaningful content that has value to our readers and sets us apart as an authority in the field of fashion, beauty, news, and culture.
What is your greatest achievement in your career? – I would say my greatest achievement is landing my current role at FLARE. Working at a major Canadian fashion and beauty publication was always my goal, and finding my way here and getting to do the work I do every day is a huge accomplishment in and of itself.
Be kind, helpful, and always work hard. People notice, and appreciate it.
How can a new graduate set themselves apart in the hiring process? – Take the time to write a really thoughtful cover letter, but keep it to just one page and don’t reference the Devil Wears Prada. We get that so much here on intern applications! Know our site and social media inside and out when you come in for an interview, know our audience, and when we’re done asking you questions, have some good questions of your own ready to go. When it comes to interns, we’re mostly looking for people who really understand and love our brand, and for people with positive attitudes.
What’s next? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? – I’ll definitely still be writing about fashion and beauty, but where is the big question. I love editorial, but I know there are lots of opportunities at fashion and beauty brands, too. Everyone has content they need created these days, and I’m grateful to have that transferable knowledge I’ve acquired while working in editorial over the years.
Photo Credit: Roberto Caruso
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