Media Spotlight Series: Gabrielle Olya
At Bevel our goal is to consistently work with the media in the most respectful ways – helping reporters do their job and tell stories in the most effective, helpful manner. With that said, we’re launching our Media Spotlight Series, where we highlight a reporter, editor or media partner on what inspired them to pursue their career in the media, and get a brief look into their careers.
To kick off the Media Spotlight Series, we have Gabrielle Olya, a lead writer and editor at GoBanking Rates. When looking at Gabrielle’s background, it is clear that she can wear multiple hats in the reporting world as she has just as much experience covering the entertainment and consumer world for publications like People Magazine, and BuzzWeekly, as she does giving money-tips on her column, the Financially Savvy Female. Safe to call her a“Renaissance man” of the reporting world, and it all began after watching her favorite film in high school How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
Did you always know you were going to pursue a career in journalism?
Funny story on how I decided to go into journalism. I watched How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days when it was out in theaters. The storyline was that the main character wrote for a magazine, and wanted to be a serious journalist and get past the “puff pieces.” Thing is, I wanted to write those puff pieces and fun lifestyle stories, they seemed like a really exciting way to use my writing skills. After watching that film, I was pretty set on journalism, and figured out my college major, and internships based around the end goal of working for a major magazine.
How would you describe the evolution of your beat? Is the beat you focus on now your favorite?
My beat has definitely done a 180 from the start of my career until now. Most of my internship experience was in entertainment journalism and when I was working with People Magazine I was writing on celebrity lifestyle. When I started at GBR, I did not know much about personal finance and really learned as I worked here. It made me realize how little personal finance content there is that is geared towards women. This is what led me to create my column the Financially Savvy Female where I cover a range of personal finance topics from, “how to start saving for an apartment” to “how to not let a divorce ruin your credit score.” The point of the column is to make women feel like finance is approachable, and something they should be able to contribute towards.
What advice would you give to publicists who reach out to reporters in hopes of gaining their interest with a pitch?
I’m someone who is open to PR pitches, and I always try to make myself approachable to the PR people I work with. What makes an effective PR pitch I think has strong research, a unique angle or an interesting source. I’m always looking for that one data point that I can pull out that would make an amazing headline, and in general when I receive a PR pitch, I will always see if it is something I can try to distill in a way that’s useful for a general audience.
If you had to pick one reporter/editor/writer in the journalism world to work with, who would you pick?
I always thought that I would end up writing for Vogue so I’m going to go with Anna Wintour, but also, I’m a big fan of interior design so I’d love to work with Amy Astley. She’s the US Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest, and I feel like I’ve always followed her reporting journey from when she was working at Teen Vogue until now.