Emily Armstrong loves her job. And how could she not? Besides travelling, dining out with clients and working with international media, she gets to be an integral part of showing off Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics.
As Tourism Vancouver’s manager of travel media relations, Armstrong works with media across North America to provide travel writers, editors and TV producers with an insider’s look at Vancouver with information, video clips and even tours to provide a personal experience for their stories.
“We focus on travel specific … things people can do to get a feel for the city while they’re here,” she said. “If someone’s writing a Gastown shopping story, we might take them to a couple of places and introduce them to owners.”
Armstrong began her tourism career in marketing and sales at a downtown boutique hotel before joining Tourism Vancouver’s media department five years ago. After three years as a media relations’ specialist she moved up to manager, a position she relishes.
“The best thing about my job is that it’s always changing,” she said. “You’re always working with different people … and what you’re talking about is always changing.”
With the 2010 Games less than two years away, Armstrong is busier than ever handling more media requests than usual, which also means more nights out with journalists.
“Meeting people from everywhere is really cool. Last night I was out with a spirits writer for a national publication, so that was fun.”
As for starting a career in tourism and media relations, Armstrong says there isn’t one clear path to take.
“They don’t really tell you that jobs like this exist when you’re in university.”
However, she encourages people interested in her job to polish their writing skills, have a love for tourism, and especially, know the city well.
“I think everyone at Tourism Vancouver has to be experts on what is happening in the city and what the new things are.”