#MediaMonday – Amy McConnell
Today’s Media Monday comes to us from Amy McConnell, owner of East Valley Moms Blog.
HMA’s history with Amy is a doozy. Way back when she was a student at ASU, she was actually my PRSA mentee, and she worked with Abbie on a project for the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (a client at the time), which required a road trip to Prescott. After that, she moved on to be a ROCK STAR public relations and marketing maven, but now she is doing something a little different. But, that is getting ahead of ourselves.
Amy, time to share!
Where did you grow up?
I’m homegrown—I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, where I still live today! That was part of the allure about becoming publisher/owner of East Valley Moms Blog, I adore the East Valley and was raised here, and am now raising my baby here—it’s a full circle kind of thing!
How did you get into PR? Share your journey.
Gosh, I blame you and Abbie! ? But in all seriousness, I started at ASU as an oboe performance major (yep, I was as nerdy as they come, and really still am). I realized very quickly I wasn’t cut out to be alone in a practice room playing scales for eight hours a day and jumped ship to the journalism school, as I’d always loved news coverage. I dabbled in magazine writing and ultimately settled on PR so that I had more job opportunities here in the Phoenix market—it was a pragmatic career decision that I’m so thankful I made. My decade as a PR practitioner was a dream—I learned so much from agency life to nonprofit to government communications.
How did you come to make the move to media?
I’ve always loved long-form magazine writing—in fact, I still have the email correspondence from the editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine when I wrote to her for career advice for breaking into the magazine industry when I was a little high schooler. I loved how storytelling was mixed with lifestyle photography—it’s always been a combo I swoon over and think it the most magical way to tell a story. During my four-year stint as a PIO for the City of Mesa, I was lucky enough to live out my dream of magazine publishing for a semi-annual magazine, Spokelife, it was a dream. It must have reinvigorated those inspirations for me, because here I am now doing the closest thing to that—running East Valley Moms Blog!
What is East Valley Moms Blog?
East Valley Moms Blog is the premier parenting community for local moms in Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler and Queen Creek, Arizona. Written by real moms, we’re keeping it as real as it gets. What makes EVMB different than other blogs is that we’re hyperlocal and a team of 20 local moms with varying points of views, parenting styles, etc. That makes it so we aren’t always your “instaworthy” perfect platform that’s perfectly curated, because Lord knows, motherhood isn’t that curated, but our audience feels a truer since of connection with us because we are candid in our coverage.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I know way more about asphalt and building streets and heavy equipment than I look like I would! After spending four years in the Transportation Department of the City of Mesa, I can talk all things street construction, and have even operated a backhoe on Main Street in Mesa!
What are your favorite movies?
Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve already started watching holiday movies this fall season—they’re my escape and happy place. In my thirties, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m not a high-brow movie gal, and that’s okay to just love the guilty pleasures!
Favorite books or bands?
I try to read 24 books a year, and some of the more recent favorites are: I Remember Nothing (Nora Ephron), I’d Rather be Reading (Anne Bogel) and anything by Sarah Addison Allen. For fellow mamas out there, Memory Making Mom (Jessica Smartt) is my most favorite mothering book. I also reread the Harry Potter series every winter.
Where we can learn more about you or get in touch?
Please visit us at www.eastvalley.citymomsblog.com, or on Instagram at @eastvalleymomsblog. We are rebranding next month to be East Valley Moms, so our social handles will change! Please send any East Valley pitches my way as well (email@example.com).