Media Minds: Alexandra Pecci Chats with Red Fan

Media Minds: Alexandra Pecci Chats with Red Fan

We rely heavily on journalists in the public relations world to inform consumers about our clients’ projects and business endeavors. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that offers PR professionals access to an interested audience and journalists with new subject matter for their readers. Cultivating these relationships over the years, we have come to develop a great appreciation for the writings of so many talented journalists who are able to capture the essense of a story with the perfect mix of clarity and wit. One of our favorite journalists here at Red Fan is the talented Alexandra Pecci.

Alexandra Pecci is a prolific freelancer who’s a generalist in the best sense of the word; she can write about any topic with a clear and interesting voice, whether it’s food or travel, business or healthcare. Her work has appeared in outlets like Every Day With Rachael Ray, The Washington Post, Ocean Home Magazine, Hemispheres, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, HealthLeaders Media, New Hampshire Business Review, Northshore Magazine and many others. She lives on the New Hampshire Seacoast with her husband, Brian, and five-year-old daughter, Chloe, and blogs about her cooking exploits at burningdownmykitchen.blogspot.com.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work with Alexandra and recently picked her brain on all things journalism, travel, food and the freelance lifestyle. Meet Alexandra Pecci.

How did you get your start in journalism?

By working for free! I wrote for my college newspaper, interned at a magazine in Boston and in my college’s communications department, and wrote features for my hometown weekly. By the time I graduated, I had a pretty decent clip file.

What makes a good story?

A good story is just that: A story with compelling people and places that jump off the page. A good story is also a pleasure to read from start to finish.

What's your biggest pet peeve as a journalist?

It really bugs me when people refer to “The Media” as some evil conglomerate that’s out to get people and control the world with its secret agenda. Journalists don’t get paid enough to have secret agendas.

On a personal level, it’s when I see a story in print that I should’ve pitched but didn’t for some reason.

What story are you most proud of in your career so far?

The fog was “dungeon thick” in Gloucester, MA, the early morning I climbed aboard a lobster boat and headed out onto the harbor to go lobster fishing with two lobstermen for a story. I was a bit nervous at first, but not for long. Those guys were such characters; so fun and funny, with great one-liners. The kind of guys you’d just park yourself next to on a barstool and laugh with for hours. They reminded me of my uncles and cousins, people I grew up with. I got sick over the side of the boat and they were totally nonchalant about it—just handed me a paper towel roll and kept hauling in their lobster traps and telling funny stories as though nothing happened. I had so much fun chatting with them that I sometimes forgot to take notes. And I got to see how hard it is to make a living as a lobsterman. When I got off that boat, I stank of fish guts and was still a little queasy, but I felt exhilarated. I wanted so desperately to do those guys justice, to really show people who they were. After the magazine came out, one of the guys emailed to thank me for the story, and to tell me how much his mother liked it, too. That meant a lot to me.

What story do you wish you could have covered?

I would love to cover a big event like the Olympics. And I would have loved to be there when Martha Stewart got released from prison in the middle of the night wearing that poncho that one of her fellow inmates made for her. (And can you imagine how crafty her house arrest must have been?)

What famous historical figure do you wish you could have interviewed and why?

Oh, John Lennon, for sure, because I have been a fan of his and The Beatles for most of my life. I took a pilgrimage to Liverpool while I was pregnant, too. I’d spend a few days baking bread with him in his apartment at The Dakota Building in NYC during his “house-husband” days in the late ‘70s and let him regale me with Beatles stories. And I’d tell him not to leave the house on December 8.

You write on everything from travel and food to health care and the work place – do you have a favorite topic to cover?

Travel is the most fun, but food is closest to my heart. Really though, I love any story where cool people are doing cool things. I always say I could never write fiction because real people are so much more interesting than anyone I could make up.

Speaking of travel, where’s your favorite place to visit?

I love places that make me feel small and insignificant, where I can marvel at the earth and my tiny place in it. I’ve felt this most strongly in the strange and otherworldly landscapes of the South Dakota Badlands and Southern Utah.

What is it about the freelance lifestyle you enjoy so much?

The freedom to be home with my five-year-old daughter and take her to the playground in the middle of the day; to have lunch with my dad on a random weekday; the ability to say yes or no to certain projects; working at 5:00 a.m. so I can go for a run at 9:00 a.m.; meeting so many different people doing interesting things whom I’d never meet otherwise…pretty much everything!

We look forward to Alexandra’s future writings and we’re confident she will continue to surprise and impress us with her charm and creativity. Her ability to clearly inform her readers on subjects ranging from food and travel to healthcare and the environment will no doubt help grow Alexandra’s readership, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Don’t forget to check out her blogs at burningdownmykitchen.blogspot.com and http://alexandrapecci.contently.com/.

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