A Conversation with Molly Given of Metro Philadelphia / by Ellie McGarvey

One of the biggest challenges a publicist can face is finding the right person to tell their client’s story. As outstanding as a pitch may be, it’s not doing anyone any good if it’s sent to the wrong contact. For that reason, we at FSPR are always eager to pick editors’ brains to see what news, trends, or events are catching their attention. Molly Given, Features Editor at Metro Philadelphia, met up with us to talk about seeing her name in print for the first time, her process when deciding which Philly events to cover, and what she looks for in a pitch.  


Did you always want to be a journalist? How did you get started in the field?

I did actually always want to be a journalist, since I was a kid I had journals filled with writing and stories. When I got to college I knew I wanted to study it, and when I got out of college, it’s not the easiest field to get a job in right away, so I just freelanced for a lot of different places. A lot of times you don’t really get paid for that, but you get a lot of experience. So then, after eventually building up my résumé, I landed a job at a website. I always wanted to work for a paper though, so I kept that in mind and then I got the job with Metro Philly. The first time I saw my name in print, it was kind of a dream come true. 


When it comes to Philly news and events, there’s always so much going on – how do you decide what you want to cover?

I always try to have a variety. Food is a big industry in Philly, so I’ll frequently cover that. There’s a good arts and culture scene, good museums, so I’ll always try to include that. And also…people want to drink. People want to go out! So really, I just try to pick and choose a wide variety and think about what I would be most interested in – if there’s a unique twist on an event, that’s always a plus as well.


What’s your favorite neighborhood in Philly?

That’s a good question! I love the Old City area, maybe because I’m a big history buff, especially within that time period. It’s so fun to go down there and feel like you’re stepping back in time, seeing all the history. It’s gorgeous there too, it’s by the water, and there’s a lot to offer in that neighborhood. One of my favorite spots for sure.


What advice would you give to publicists who want to pitch you?

I would say, have a press release ready, and quotes are always great - from someone who is involved in the event or had a part in making the event happen. Pictures are always great as well. And just put it in your own words, like how you would tell it to a friend. Whatever you find interesting about the event, someone else probably will as well.