Jun 4, 2018

Q&A with Matte PR’s Claire Slaughter

Whether she’s browsing Youtube or staying up late to catch the nightly news, Claire’s finger is on the media’s pulse. This gal can go from to cracking hip-hop jokes to rhyming off political trivia, all in the same breath. Claire’s interests may be all over the map but her decision to join Matte PR was clear-cut.

What inspired you to get into PR?

During my undergrad in communications at Wilfrid Laurier University, I was acutely interested in Canadian broadcasting. Much of my research was spent pouring over broadcasting policy and analyzing the defining properties of words. I decided to venture into public relations after writing my capstone thesis in risk communication, looking at public broadcasting and how crisis situations are reported. I have followed the news from a young age, but at this point, I found myself enamoured with the Canadian media landscape and knew I had to be a part of it – especially if it meant I could be a responsible communicator.

Why did you choose Matte PR?

After earning my graduate PR certificate at Humber College and finishing an internship with Bell Media, I was looking for exposure to a diverse range of clientele while leveraging my knowledge of Canadian media and diverse range of cultural interests. I wanted to get my feet wet in the world of PR by seeing how communication differs between industries.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I am working on a whole host of projects. I spearhead content creation for the Toronto Entertainment District BIA. This responsibility has me interviewing pivotal Entertainment District members, writing blog content, developing social media posts and elevating the underground happenings to the rest of Toronto. Beyond this, I support developing and following up on media pitches and opportunities for Modular Farms, Engel & Völkers and a recent food festival with the Italian Chamber of Commerce called The Authentic Italian Table. Matte PR is working on Hillcrest Mall’s spring initiatives right now. This is where I get to think more strategically about integrated communication planning by developing a tactical critical path and thinking of strong pitch ideas.

What do you find most rewarding in your work?

The most rewarding part of the work I do, is honestly, the meaning I attribute to it. As mentioned briefly before, I really believe using words and choosing the correct ones helps define the subject matter. As these chosen words are used, they join a discourse and can be used colloquially.  Having the control to introduce new concepts to audiences and working with genuine clients makes content creation so redeeming – it is nice to tell our client’s stories because the authentic work being done resonates with me and my interests.

What are your favourite places to get informed?

I laughed with my friends upon downloading the Press Reader application saying, “You know you work in PR when you’re excited to have cellphone access to all the daily newspapers.” Before working in PR, I was and always will be an undying fan of CBC’s The National. I began watching the program in elementary school with my mom as an excuse to prolong my bedtime but grew to love it and so did all my teachers who welcomed my relevant contributions to class discussion. I think a trustworthy nightly newscast is the easiest way to stay informed. I also Google everything and I’m cautious of seeming like a poser when I find new interests or things I’m curious about, so I’m always running internet deep-dives. Beyond this, I really like listening to podcasts as I get ready in the morning and learning off Youtube by watching everything from makeup hauls to video essays.

Where would you like to travel to the most?

Italy! Please do yourself a favour and familiarize yourself with the wonderful BBC series, Two Greedy Italians, and tell me I’m wrong! The series follows Chefs Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, both responsible for introducing Jamie Oliver to Italian cuisine, as they reacquaint themselves with all that Italy has to offer. After working with the Authentic Italian Table food festival and exploring the food producing regions of Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, I know it’s the destination for me.

Describe your perfect meal.

Although I love cooking, I am not particularly obsessed with any one food item. My roommate and I have an unhealthy relationship with burritos and ordering late-night pineapple pizza. But if I’m looking to elevate my palette, a Greek souvlaki dinner with roast potatoes and rice is the way to my heart, so long as I can smell garlic on my breath hours later.

If you can have a one-hour conversation with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I can’t help but visualize myself struggling to carry on a one-hour conversation with an uninterested celebrity or thought leader. I would much rather level the playing field by travelling through time to speak to these individuals before hitting a big break or were recognized. I think this would make for a much more compelling conversation. Since this is still impossible, topping this list would be Questlove, Nardwuar and Nerida Joy.

Fill in the blank:

Something surprising about me is that I am unusually talented at remembering and (unfortunately) reciting lyrics.

BONUS ROUND: THIS OR THAT

Style: Leather Moto or Denim Jacket? Denim Jacket – I am about the Canadian tux life.

Night out: Art Gallery or Music Festival? Art Gallery – I use to frequent the National Gallery when I lived in Ottawa, and why not when the Department of Canadian Heritage waives admission fees Thursday evenings.

Beauty Must-Have: Lip Balm or Mascara? Very touchy subject. I need both. However, I have desert lips and after years of researching and investing in balm, First Aid Beauty Intensive Lip Balm is my holy grail.