This week’s people to know are Knot PR’s Tatiana Read and Amy Burstyn-Fritz.
How did you get started in PR?
Tatiana: My friends and family had suggested I look into the field after graduating from the University of Toronto with Fine Art History specialist degree (I didn’t see myself working in the art world). I completed a post-grad Corporate Communications program at Seneca and then interned. In case any PR hopefuls are reading: I would choose a hands-on internship experience over PR school any day of the week.
Amy: I’ve always been a people person and a perfectionist–traits that are well suited for this industry. Before partnering with Knot PR, I worked in a number of related fields; as an editor of a fashion magazine, a boutique public relations firm and a position at a marketing agency where I managed a number of arts organizations. All of my experiences helped me gain valuable insights into the various sides of the industry and reinforced my passion and commitment to the practice of public relations.
Namedrop! Any interesting celebrity stories?
Tatiana: Ted Koppel: consummate professional, Julia Restoin Roitfeld: gorgeous, Janet Jackson: short! (the last one being a celebrity sighting at London Fashion Week).
Amy: Some of my favourite Knot PR events involved promoting world-class artists like Marina Abramovic, Rainer Prohaska, Rufus Wainwright and Nelly Furtado. Creative types are always eccentric and never dull.
Your major career influence?
Tatiana: My family. They taught me that mastery and career fulfillment go hand in hand.
Amy: My parents were always encouraging of young entrepreneurs and had a lasting impact on my drive for success. As active city builders they instilled in me the confidence to drive change, not only through my vocational work, but also by imparting the importance of volunteerism.
Best advice you’ve received?
Tatiana: I don’t listen to advice–I learn from my mistakes (that way it sticks).
Amy: Never stop learning.
If you weren’t a publicist, what would you be?
Tatiana: A computer programmer or movie director–I like making ideas come to life.
Amy: I was always interested in the human psyche and dappled with the idea of becoming a therapist. Either that or a personal trainer.
What’s up next?
Tatiana: We’re getting ready for Nadège Patisserie’s online boutique launch, February gala season–we’re working on the National Ballet School and the Reel Artists Film Festival. A warm winter holiday in Lima or Honolulu
Amy: We see Knot PR continuing to evolve, growing with our clients, expanding our team and our networks. On the personal side, I’m heading to LA next weekend to visit my new baby niece, New York in December for my wedding dress fitting, and Costa Rica over the holidays.
The Inside Scoop…
What’s something about Amy that only you know…
Tatiana: We work closely together so I’ve picked up on most of Amy’s tells–I often joke that I know what she’s working on by the conviction of her typing. Also: Amy has a superpower related to scheduling, that is all I can reveal.
What’s something about Tatiana that only you know…
Amy: Every day with Tat brings new discoveries–she’s like an onion. No matter how well I think I know her she’ll always surprise me with a new skill–generally followed by a hilarious anecdote that has some sort of verifying stat to confirm her excellence. Like her mastery of squid fishing, starting a blog at the age of 16 or helming one of the first Canadian publications dedicated to model horses.
Why ‘Knot’ PR? What were the other company names you were deciding between?
Tatiana: Knot was founded in 2009 when the media landscape really started to transform due to improved technologies and an increase in social network adoption. While the double entendre (not / Knot) nods to this evolving landscape, the literal symbol of a knot speaks to what good communications practice should be: making strategies stronger, connecting people, places, brands (building relationships), and being reliable, efficient, adaptable. For these reasons, “Knot” was the only name that ever felt like a true fit.
A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?
Tatiana: Our office! We relocated to the Esplanade a year ago and we love having visitors drop in. This office is a product of three years of dedication and hard work.
Amy: The Four Season’s Centre for the performing arts is a world-class venue and home to the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. Any time you’re there it always feels like an occasion. I also love the Art Gallery of Ontario, where I’ll be getting married next spring.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Tatiana: L’unità (also a client relationship) is near and dear to me. iQ Food Co. is a favourite workday breakfast and lunch spot. Giancarlo on College is a family favourite. My neighbourhood spots are Live Organic Raw and the Harbord Room. I could go on.
Amy: For lunch meetings – Stratus on the top floor of TD Tower. For brunch with the girls – Le Select. For a quiet dinner – Giancarlo. For a night in – Swiss Chalet.
Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
Tatiana: University of Toronto–my alma mater. I don’t drive and I love to walk: Philosopher’s Walk by the ROM is a favourite route to take.
Amy: I love our office location on The Esplanade–sandwiched between the Bay Street commerce crowd and many of the city’s top arts institutions suits Knot PR perfectly.
Least favourite thing about Toronto?
A Toronto resident, other than yourself, who’s making a positive impact on the city?
Tatiana: I admire what Arlene Stein has done to champion Ontario’s hospitality industry–we met when I was a committee member for the annual industry Terroir Symposium.
Amy: As a young entrepreneur I respect up and coming talent that have made their mark on this city in the early stages of their career. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with Mitchell Marcus he’s a total arts and culture dynamo and a family man to boot.