Media Monday: Cathie Ericson

Olivia Fuller / March 6, 2017

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Cathie Ericson, freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in a variety of outlets, including The Oregonian and Forbes.com.

CathieEricson

  1. How did you find yourself as a freelance writer?

I had spent 15 years working for top PR agencies in LA, Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland – including freelancing for The Fearey Group! — when I realized that my favorite part of the job was understanding the client’s needs and translating them into compelling stories. I started freelancing for the Oregonian and things snowballed from there. Now I am fortunate enough to write for outlets that cover everything from real estate to health, small business, personal finance, sustainability, parenting and much more.

2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?

My first story for Learnvest.com was repurposed on Business Insider (and many other places) and I was so excited to see it come across in the email newsletter I get every day. I also profile C-level women for TheGlassHammer.com and I love hearing their stories.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

I literally learn something new every day. I don’t know what might come across my desk and I get super excited about each new story. I have been able to interview a few of my favorite experts, including Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert and a couple parenting authorities for stories I have written.

4. What is your interview style?

I do a fair amount of research before and am frequently praised as being knowledgeable on my topic. Today I was interviewing a nutritionist and she asked if I needed her to tell me what nutrients were in various foods and I said, “No, I can find that out. Why don’t you tell me why they’re important,” and she said no one had ever said that; they often ask for the most basic information. I prefer to use my interviews to get info I can’t find from other sources.

5. What do you look for in a story?

What my editor wants. That’s my job is to meet their needs. Having been in PR I know the story that the client wants to tell, but that’s not always the story the editor wants, so it’s important for PR people to remember that we often don’t get to choose how we’re telling a story. We have a client too, and it’s our editor.

6. What is your day like at your job?

Never a dull moment, just like at a PR firm. Today I was talking to that nutritionist, but after that I was getting some details on HVAC systems and finding out how to choose a great contractor for Realtor.com. Then I was tracking down sources for how to pick a great side hustle and how to start a savings regimen. In the meantime I got some edits back on a story on safe spring driving and one on public speaking secrets.

7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?

Honestly since I haven’t pursued journalism as a career I don’t have any big idol or big “get” I would love. I love working with each and every one of my editors, who are funny and smart and I know they have their own hustle on their end. I try to make their jobs easier.

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

Since I cover so many diverse topics I depend on industry-specific newsletters from SmartBrief and then “Industry Dive.” But I read the Wall Street Journal every day (like read it, read it, as in paper).

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not reporting, I am…working out.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…hmmmm….Would love to talk to Gretchen Rubin, who writes about happiness.
  • My favorite thing about the Pacific Northwest is…when it gets sunny

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

I eat ice cream every night when I am finally done for the day!

 

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Olivia Fuller

Assistant Account Executive

Olivia is a passionate multimedia communicator with experience in journalism, audio and video production and social media. She assists with public relations at The Fearey Group as an assistant account executive. She is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned her degree in journalism and political science with a minor in international studies. During her college years, she interned at the Seattle Globalist, My Edmonds News and KING 5 News and served as the executive producer of The Daily Video at UW. As a Colorado native and resident of Seattle, her recipe for survival depends on outdoor adventures, music shows and coffee.