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Recipe for Press

August 27, 2013


I adore Amy Flurry and if there was ever someone whose career (and life!) I’d like to emulate it’s hers. She juggles an enviable editorial roster, is a creative genius with edgy side projects, and runs a successful consulting business based off her book, Recipe for Press.

I’ve interviewed Flurry several times for her gorgeous work with Paper-Cut-Project, but truly came to know her after Recipe for Press, published. Full disclosure, we share the same book publisher because I sought her out after reading it. I love everything about Recipe for Press, but mostly it’s because of its content and practical applications to small business. (Not to mention the stylish design aesthetic and user-friendly layout.) I’m thrilled to talk career progression, unplugging, and the business of branding with the supremely smart, Amy Flurry.


danapop: How much do you think social media influences a company and how do you suggest your clients (and practitioners of Recipe for Press) balance an online presence with growing their business?

Amy Flurry: Social media is an incredible tool for businesses of all sizes, but for small operations or startups it is possibly even more valuable. For starters, it’s free, but what’s not free is the time you must invest in it, and that’s generally the hangup for small businesses. Eventually a company has to come around to seeing how important communications is for their business, whether it’s in building relationships with editors or trust with their customer. I help entrepreneurs learn to think like an editor, because they are, first and foremost, editors of their own brand. This also plays heavily into how successful a company will be with social media.

dp: I know you do consulting work with great brands (like the amazing Katharine Kidd), what do you look for when working with a client? Is there a universal need most of them are seeking?

AF: I do work with great brands and if there was a common thread among the best of them it’s that they’ve all put effort into a strong visual brand identity. They simply lack confidence in the correct way to share their story with editors and bloggers–and this may range from basic questions like how to find the right editor to pitch, whether they should send an attachment or even how long a pitch should be. Once they attend a workshop or read the book and get the basic foundation, many realize they need extra help developing a long-term media strategy. For those clients who are still in the development stage or who simply want an editors eye on their brand to tell them what’s keeping them from getting press, the more universal need is better product shots and portraits.

dp: I know your babies aren’t exactly babies any longer and you’re in the throws of back-to-school and homework, but how do you adapt to each stage of motherhood against career progression?

AF: My work has adapted to different stages in life. Even before we had children, I chose to freelance because my husband and I were traveling and housesitting (he’s a novelist and I was working to build a portfolio) and my work was nourished by experiences of living in the south of France, on Martha’s Vineyard and in Athens, Georgia. When kids came into the picture, I discovered a new kind of flexibility in freelancing and shifted my work hours around and that worked for me for some time. Now that they’re in school, I need more consistent office hours (and more sleep). I won’t pretend that I’ve ever struck a perfect balance between the two. Life is short. Kids grow up fast. The work I’ve created is exciting. I approach my personal life and professional with an intensity that lets those I know they’re loved or that I love what I do.


dp: You recently went to Mallorca for a month – how did disconnecting help your business?

AF: Of course when you run the show, disconnecting is never easy, but it’s a healthy exercise because you establish space between you and the business that is hard to come by otherwise. With a little distance you gain fresh perspective; you can easily identify what’s working well and the other things that are a drag on your energy or business. You also remember that picking up a good book and finishing it or catching up on sleep or trying your hand at a new language are equally vital and valuable to your business and well being and so this “time off” becomes more important than ever to claim, for you, your family and your business.

dp: If you were to tell new business owners one thing they could do to get their brand out there, what would it be?

AF: Put a priority on great photography (I devoted an entire chapter to this in my book, The Power of the Picture). It’s the single most important component in communicating your brand to today’s media influencers (and they have the ability to share your brand with a really large audiences).

dp: Most small business owners (myself included) often feel like an island, wearing multiple hats; how helpful is networking and collaboration?

AF: Networking (whether it’s attending a conference or workshop or partnering with a peer on a project) is important because you simply cannot do everything all by yourself and be effective. It’s very helpful when other experts share what they’ve learned along the way. It saves time. Not only that, things happen when you make the effort to show up. Friendships are made, new partnerships are forged. As corny as it sounds the results can be profound.


dp: You seem to have a constant flow of multiple projects (Paper Cut, editorial work, consulting) how do you prioritize them all?

AF: Having transitioned from a full-time freelance career as an editor and freelance writer to an artist and entrepreneur only three years ago, I still feel new at many parts of entrepreneurship. There’s no one-size-fits-all guidebook. But the travel and time away this past summer afforded me the time to think on how I could streamline my daily activities and get the most out of them. I now work on Paper-Cut-Project in the morning, using that time also as my moment to check in with my family or friends on my speakerphone. I chat and cut or just enjoy the quiet of the morning. I am also trying to eliminate a terrible habit: haphazardly checking emails or looking at Facebook or Twitter. There are so many tools that help you get the most out of the social media outlets without having to be a victim!

dp: What’s next for you?

AF: Recipe for Press has a new initiative in the works (videos and continued support my clients have been requesting). I’m looking forward to speaking at Spoonflower’s HQ in Durham, NC in September. I’m also excited about high school basketball season!

Headshot Image: Courtesy of Sara Rose Photography
Christie’s Elizabeth Taylor Auction/Exhibition Image: Courtesy of Paper-Cut-Project