A Sit Down with Austin Monthly Deputy Editor, Madeline Hollern

Here at Sara Hussey Public Relations we're thrilled to on board our second-ever intern, Anaisa Kalita. An Austinite, Anaisa is working remotely from Denton, TX as she finishes up her senior year at The University of North Texas. Go Eagles!! Anaisa recently chatted with Austin Monthly's Madeline Hollern to learn more about this crazy world of Public Relations. Check-out what the two talked about below. 

As a newcomer to the world of public relations, contacting editors can seem like a daunting task. It's easy to get caught up in the impressive job titles and the fear of coming off as a scared intern. That's one of the reasons I was so excited to talk with Madeline Hollern, Deputy Editor of Austin Monthly. Madeline shared a few of her favorite on-the-job stories and some tips to make the PR world a not-so-scary place.  

How did you get your start in journalism? I’ve wanted to write for a magazine since I was in high school! I edited my high school newspaper and studied journalism at UT. Six weeks after graduating I started as an editorial assistant at ENVY Magazine, working my way up to assistant editor, city editor, and then managing editor and working for the magazine in Houston, Austin, and then Dallas. When the magazine went under in 2009, I briefly worked for another magazine called 944, which also went under. (This was during the recession.) I got a job at San Antonio Magazine as an assistant editor in 2010, and in 2011 I transferred to our sister publication, Austin Monthly. I’ve been here ever since!

What do you look for in a PR pitch? Relevant, easy-to-read information in a timely manner. We only write about Austin (so don’t pitch me about Houston), we work at least six weeks ahead (so don’t tell me about an event you are hosting tomorrow), and make sure you pitch the right person the right thing (I get all kinds of pitches telling me how much they love Texas Monthly. Great, I love it too, but that’s not my publication).

What’s one thing you wish all PR people knew about your job? That we work so far in advance. Better to pitch something a year early than one week too late.  

What’s the best way for a PR person to respond to a “no”? "Thank you for the response." However, if someone doesn’t respond to an email at all, go ahead and send a follow-up email. Sometimes emails get lost in the mix.  

What’s the best part of your job? Getting to write and edit for a living, meeting interesting people, learning about the newest things happening in Austin, and attending fun events.

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at a photo shoot? We had a photo shoot in Dallas (Sara was there—her sister Cristina styled the shoot), and there was a giant fly or mosquito buzzing around the clothing rack. Our photo editor Cory impulsively decided to swat it, and blood went flying everywhere, including on the clothes. Not so funny at the time, but hilarious in retrospect!

What was it like being on the cover of Austin Monthly? It was fun! Our photo editor and art director wanted a blonde as an extra in the shot, so they asked me to do it. We spent an April morning in chilly Deep Eddy Pool, and I played volleyball with a beach ball while the photographer snapped photos. I’ve produced the "101 Fun Things to Do This Summer" feature for four years, so it was fun to be on the June cover promoting it!

About The Author

Hey there! My name is Anaïsa, I was born and raised in Austin but have been adventuring around Denton, Texas for the past four years. I'm currently a student at the University of North Texas where I'm studying Public Relations and French. My hobbies include traveling, photography, and going to music festivals (how can I not be an Austinite, right?). One day I hope to combine all of that into a career. Learn more about my experience here