14 Apr Connecting with Toronto Food Writer, Jessica Huras
Here at PRAXIS, we integrate our three Cs, Curious, Creative, and Connected, into every element of our process to deliver thoughtful campaigns and proven results – including right here, on the PRAXIS Newswire. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with journalists and content creators. These are essential in ensuring we have our fingers on the pulse, selecting the best fit for our clients when it comes to pitching and executing strategic partnerships.
With the media landscape ever-changing in both traditional and social media, we took some time to get to know one of our favourite Toronto-based media personalities – Jessica Huras is a Toronto-based food, travel and lifestyle freelance writer and editor. She’s worked as an editor at Foodism and Post City, with her writing also appearing in Globe & Mail, Elle Canada, Food & Drink and enRoute, to name just a few. We’ve asked her everything from her career start-up to her favourite pandemic pivots. For an insightful glance into her world, check out our Q & A below!
What attracted you to a career in journalism?
I’ve always been an avid reader and writer. I started writing “novels” (hard quotations on novels haha) in my spare time when I was 10 and by the time I was in university, I had a side hustle editing papers for other students. Journalism seemed like a natural choice.
How did you find your beat (food)?
My boyfriend (now husband) and I spent several years travelling and teaching English overseas after university. I started pitching travel stories during that time and eventually began earning enough to quit teaching and write full-time. I found that food was the element of travel I enjoyed writing about most (and generally centered my own travel plans around!). When we moved back to Canada, I used that experience to shift into writing about local food.
Is there anything else you would love to write about that you haven’t yet had the chance to?
Pre-pandemic I was continuing to cover food travel in addition to local food. Not being able to travel for the past year has really slowed down that side of my writing. There are endless global food destinations I’d love to still visit and cover, and I hope that will be safely possible soon as the world reopens.
What makes a PR pitch attractive to you?
I think highlighting what makes the product/client truly unique is really important, whether it’s the first of its kind in Canada or features an ingredient with an interesting sourcing story. If it’s a new drink launch, for example, just being great tasting or new isn’t really enough to shape a story around. What sets it apart from all the other great drinks available? Why is it in particular worth writing about?
I also like pitches to be short and sweet! I can generally tell pretty quickly whether the pitch is a fit or not. I think a lot of us suffer from overly full inboxes and that’s definitely true for editors and journalists. Brief but meaningful pitches make our lives easier.
How did COVID-19 impact the media landscape for your beat?
It definitely changed the kinds of stories I was covering. I went from writing about new restaurants and culinary trends to writing about how chefs and owners are surviving. It’s been really inspiring to work on stories that highlight the creativity and determination of so many hardworking people in the foodservice industry.
What have been your favourite ‘pivots’ during the pandemic? For example, virtual events, experiential kits, etc.
Restaurant bottle shops* have been amazing — both as a new source of revenue to help restaurants survive the dine-in closures and also for diners. We now have access to all kinds of rare and interesting bottles that we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy at home previously.
Where do you see traditional media in the future?
If I truly knew the answer to this, I think I’d be quite rich! It definitely feels like traditional media is coming to a point where something has to change because high-quality content takes money to produce but readers increasingly don’t want to pay for it.
You can follow Jessica on Instagram @waysofwanderers and check out her website, www.jessicahuras.com, for her features.