It was 1999. My reporting days would soon be in the rearview mirror. I was tired of moving around and covering cats stuck in trees and horrible breaking news like murders and fires. Local news wasn’t paying the student loans or inspiring.
What was inspiring was my part-time work for the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) during my time as a TV reporter in NYC. At AGBU, I was a part-time media consultant (I received a fellowship from this amazing organization and earned a Master’s in broadcast journalism from Emerson College). At that time, my focus was getting the word out about the first genocide of the 20th century-the Armenian Genocide. My grandparents were survivors and had shared their stories of survival with me, yet it was both shocking and disappointing how so few people had ever heard of it.
I was pitching World News Tonight, hell-bent on getting archival materials and photographs on ABC’s Century series. I walked over to the newsroom (one of the benefits of living in NYC at the time) and stood outside, and then personally handed the documents to an intern who repeated that they couldn’t promise anything and best to call next time (this was before email had taken over how we communicated in the workplace). I left feeling happy that I had actually “made contact” with someone but wasn’t sure it would see the light of day, never mind make it on air. Later that evening, my coworker Hrag transferred over a call to me.
“Elizabeth Yekhtikian? This is Peter Jennings. I received your materials and this will be included in the Century series. Appreciate your tenacity.” Watch the episode here: ABC News - Armenian Genocide - YouTube. I don’t know what surprised me the most: the fact that Peter Jennings called me or that he said my last name perfectly and in that perfect Peter Jennings newscaster way.
A month later I moved back to Boston to start a career in PR and never looked back. I worked at two amazing agencies that focus on the high-tech sector: Blanc and Otus for ten years and InkHouse for seven years.
I started Earned Media Consultants in 2019, one month after my Mom passed away. My mother was my biggest fan, and shortly before her death, she said “Why don’t you just make a go of it on your own? Just listen to yourself.”Pitching and preparing people for interviews is my heart and passion. Always was. Always will be.
Today, I work with a team of dedicated professionals who share my vision and passion for telling important stories. Can we help you tell yours?
Every single day, we work with clients to help them tell their best stories to the people who matter. See how we do it here.
ABC News - The Century Series (April 30, 1999)
In a news series devoted to major events of the 20th century, ABC News' World News Tonight with Peter Jennings featured a story about the Armenian Genocide on April 30, 1999. The video includes Armenian Genocide survivors Mary Omartian and Perouze Ipekjian, historian Jay Winter, author Peter Balakian, and photos by Armin Wegner. For teaching resources on the Armenian Genocide visit The Genocide Education Project at GenocideEducation.org.