In this week’s Meet MEDIA CONNECT profile we spotlight assistant digital publicist Cori Cagide.
MEDIA CONNECT: Is there a person or event that shaped you to be who you are today? How so?
Cori Cagide: My grandmother, Audrey. She was a beautiful, giving, charismatic and positive person who brought joy to everyone in her life. One of 5, she lost both of her parents by the age of 14 and was forced to drop out of school to ensure that the others could have a more stable life. Her motherly instincts translated into her future career as the owner of a preschool in Newark, NJ, which she ran and taught at for over 40 years. She was constantly helping others (even when she didn’t have the means for herself), constantly volunteering, giving to charity and assisting in local church events. She taught me the value of being kind to others, having compassion, and giving back to your community. The most important lesson she taught me was that even in your darkest days, there is always someone who has it worse, so be sure to keep a smile on your face. Every time I have a smile from ear to ear, I think of her.
MC: If you weren’t promoting books, what would you be doing?
CC: I would have loved to be a pediatrician. I’m so intrigued by the medical field and science in general, and have always been great with kids. If I didn’t have such a ridiculous fear of blood myself, I’m sure it is a field I would have pursued.
MC: What is one of your favorite quotes?
CC: “Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean. My grandmother and I used to watch old movies all the time, and we always loved this quote. It was also my yearbook quote, and a tattoo in honor of my grandmother.
MC: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
CC: Audrey Hepburn. She seemed like such a fascinating and good natured woman. She accomplished so much, yet was still so humble. My favorite movie of all time is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” so I’m sure I’d have a lot to ask her. She was also an ambassador to UNICEF, so I’d be really interested in hearing stories about her charity work as well.
MC: What was the last book you recommended to someone?
CC: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was a New York Times bestseller in the summer of 2012, and that was what prompted me to read it in September of 2013. Although it took me a few chapters to get into it, it had me hooked until the end. This captivating thriller has the tagline: “There are two sides to every story.” Ahh it was so good!
MC: Which skills/characteristics/interests do you believe make for a really good book publicist?
CC: While there are many skills that are crucial for a publicist to have, there are a few that stick out. First, I think you need to be extremely eager, proactive and aggressive (to a point). You have to know what your goals are and go after them. If you have to book 50 radio shows, you better get your butt on the phone and call as many as you can. You have to be willing to do what it takes to get the job done. I also think you need to be extremely creative and resourceful. We spend our days creating, editing, revising and re-revising pitches. Whether it be via phone or email, you have to be innovative when crafting a pitch. If a producer asks you something you may not necessarily have the answer to, you have to be able to get them that answer, one way or another. I also think you need to be very aware. Not just as a book publicist, but as a public relations professional in general, it’s important to stay on top of the news, and be able to relate your pitch to a story or something newsworthy.