Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for the National Post, OK! Magazine, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications worldwide. She is currently the editor-in-chief of FAJO Magazine, an international publication with staff in Canada, U.S., U.K. and Italy.
Over the past decade, Yakobi has interviewed and photographed many fashion and entertainment icons, including John Fluevog, Mariah Carey, Jeanne Beker, Enrique Iglesias, Deepak Chopra, Catherine Malandrino, Paul Venoit and Bryan Adams. A graduate of Carleton University‘s renowned school of journalism, Yakobi speaks four languages and has lived in five countries. In her free time, she enjoys raising awareness and funds for various Canadian and international charities.
Twitter: @FajoMagazine, @HannahYakobi
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
My career trajectory was somewhat unpredictable: I wanted to be a ballet dancer when I was very young (who didn’t?), for many years I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer (I even took some courses) and later I briefly thought psychology was the field for me. But then, at 18, I became a reporter and have never looked back.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d like to continue to do exactly what I’m doing now, but on an even larger scale.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
You need to be hard-working and dedicated. Some people have an expectation that fashion is all about glamour and fabulous parties – it certainly does have that, but in order to stay in this industry for a long time, you need to earn it. Expect long hours and plenty of stress. When you start, say “yes” to almost everything. And never be rude to anyone – it’s a small industry and the word about bad behaviour travels fast.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I grew up reading Harper’s Bazaar, so that publication has always had a very special place in my heart. And I love the British edition of Glamour, the small, mini-size version – I’ve been reading it for years.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Dominique Szabo, Senior Vice-President of Estee Lauder. She was remarkable on every level.
This is a hard question. I’ve had some interviews that didn’t start on a good note. But almost always, after chatting with each other, the interviewee and I were able to get the conversation flowing.
Many of my friends who are also journalists frequently tell me crazy stories about some of their interviews. I think I have been lucky to never experience that. At least – not yet.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“University education is very important” is what my grandfather always used to say. When I got my degree, I understood the value of those words.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Hard work pays off.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Do the research before you contact media folks. If someone says they are not interested in a pitch, do not pressure them. Maintain relationships with people.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
The folks at National PR. They are quite amazing.
Cold weather, pretentious behaviour, unprofessionalism.
Charity work, hosting parties, travel and getting my hair done.
About to re-read Life of Pi. Just saw the movie in December and loved it, so decided to read the book again.
Best place on earth?
Valentino Garavani. I have great respect for that man.
My mother. She is an incredible woman, who has dedicated her life to my sister and I. She has had quite a spectacular career, and always has incredible business ideas.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Pool or ocean?
Can I say “the sea”? Mediterranean sea!
Voicemail or email?
If you want to chat, I’m on my phone. If you want a response right away and it has to do with business, email is where you can find me.