Who is Michelle Maskaly?
I am a journalist turned communications and marketing pro, who is dog obsessed, loves a good adventure, enjoys a challenge, loves traveling, the outdoors, plants and has a soft spot for the underdog.
My career has allowed me the opportunity to: help people and brands shine, as well as recognize their blindspots as a corporate communications professional; help relaunch a pet industry B2B trade publication; work in marketing at Bloomberg and Bloomberg TV; be a senior editor and podcast co-host at a life science publication; serve as the editorial director of an international healthcare publication, be a news editor at a major cable news network; a social media coordinator at public relations firm and journalist at Gannett and Newhouse.
A MS caregiver since the age of 5, I’ve learned empathy, understanding and that people are complicated. It has taught me that life is short and to make the most of it, because you are not guaranteed tomorrow.
I really enjoy coaching people and businesses, and serving as a resource.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
Unfortunately, the best business advice I’ve been given is not printable, so if you want to know it, you will have to email me. But, when it comes to business, I believe it is all about relationships. I subscribe to Ted Rubin’s “Return on Relationship” philosophy, and will add that people like to do business with people they like. Cultivating authentic relationships is something special and should never be overlooked.
What was most memorable about your career in journalism?
As a breaking news reporter, I covered some of the biggest news stories at the time including, 9/11, the Miracle on the Hudson, the Casey Anthony trial, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the resignation of former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy.
But, I would say what stays with me everyday were the regular people who were thrust into the news cycle because they, or their family, were struck by tragedy. The parents, spouses, grandparents, children who had just suffered a terrible moment in their life, but opened their door when I knocked and entrusted me to tell the story of their loved one.
What made you move to corporate communications, marketing and media relations?
In almost every position I’ve held, there was a part of my job that has involved marketing. Over the years, I found that I have a knack for it–probably because I always have a crazy idea; just ask my best friends who are sick hearing them! And, because I “grew up” in the journalism field, I have a deep understanding of the media: what they want, what they might ask, how they think, what makes a good story, how to best to serve them the information they need and what other factors might be at play.
Describe a moment you are proud of.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to do agility with my dogs. Our first real weekend competition did not go as well as I hoped. At the end of the weekend the judge was able to present special judge’s awards to teams who participated. The awards were based on the bond and interaction between the dog and it’s handler, as well as sportsmanship. I almost cried when she selected me as one of the recipients. It meant more than any title we could have earned that weekend, because it wasn’t about how well we performed against a set of rules. It was about our integrity and intent.
If you won the lottery tomorrow what would you do with the money?
My friend who runs a dog rescue would never have to worry about funding again, my mom would be out of her long-term care facility, because we would be able to afford live-in home care for her and I would start a foundation dedicated to comparative medicine. Oh, and, I would hire a 24/7 concierge veterinarian for my dogs.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I was sent home from my SATs, because I became physically ill during the test. This was a common theme during high school. I was a horrible test taker, but never understood why, and no one ever addressed it back then. Now, I’ve learned that what I was experiencing was likely anxiety.
What do you like to do for fun?
Where do I start?! I love kayaking, live music, road trips, hiking, home improvement projects, gardening in the summer, cooking, supporting local farmer’s markets, and learning new things.
What’s your dream job?
I don’t believe in a dream job. Each experience teaches you something. But, if I had to narrow down what I love, it is when I am helping people and providing value, while also having the freedom to be a global citizen. I’ve learned that I work best in a flexible environment.
How many animals do you have?
It’s not as bad as it could be. I currently live with dogs, tortoises, a bird, fish and a bearded dragon. I am a huge animal lover, and if I could afford it, I would have a farm full of adorable faces: ducks, chickens and horses would be at the top of my list. While we are on the topic of “it is not as bad as it could be,” I also have a slight plant addiction. I’ve been known to go a little overboard when there are plants placed on the “throw me out shelf” at Lowe’s, and I may, or may not, spend a lot of time at the local garden centers on Spring and Summer weekends finding new varieties of flowers and vegetables to add to my collection. I also take in unwanted plants that people would otherwise throw in the trash.
What is a misperception people make about you?
That because I was a journalist for so long, I love writing, am a great speller and am a grammar pro. I am a good writer, but I hate any type of long-form writing and I’ve always been a horrible speller. As for grammar, there are way too many “rules” for me. This is why I always try to have a really good copy editor on call.