Ask the Expert: Daman Beatty

January 28, 2020

What inspired you to start Surrey604? is an online community magazine my wife Fatima and I created to amplify that sense of civic pride. As an independent, grassroots media outlet, we have video journalists, actors, photographers, writers and media personalities covering the bright and beautiful people, places and ideas of our great city, Surrey BC. There is such diversity and so much to talk about here. We connect our community and offer a voice.

Did you choose the journalism industry? Or did it choose you?

It was a natural fit and inevitable course for me. I have always needed that creative outlet. In elementary school, I drew my own comic books and distributed them to the students in my class. I got involved with school newspapers. I studied digital media, web publishing and video production and was part of the original team that launched the first online version of my university’s student newspaper. I have had the right combination of technical skills and creative drive that has fueled this journey for me, always creating and publishing my own content.

What was a milestone moment in your business/career?

For me, education never ends and I have found that you can continue to unlock opportunities for yourself by diversifying and constantly upgrading your skillset. I keep going back to school. So the milestones of my career path have been marked by studying and then achieving new skills that have allowed me to continue to grow, and also adapt to different jobs available in the market. Things are changing so rapidly these days, you can’t afford not to.

How important is PR to your career?

As a publisher, working with PR agencies is incredibly rewarding, not only for business but for fun. I am always excited to hear from PR agencies who often send advisories about cool new products, fashions, foods, people, events and opportunities. There is a symbiotic relationship we have for sharing stories and amazing experiences. A great PR agency knows how to make you feel good and show you a good time. That positivity always translates back into the stories we share, which means truly great content for us and great PR for the agency’s clients. Most of our greatest stories, experiences, and content have truly come from working with Darian and the team at Jelly because they are fun people and are really, really good at what they do!

What are 2 tips you want to pass along to PR professionals and brands that send pitches?

Please include photos with every press release. We are a visual medium. Also, PDFs are not good for extracting copy. Include a text or Word document or put it right in the email body.

What does a day in the life of a producer for Surrey604 look like?

My day always starts with coffee! But I spend a lot of time communicating with content creators, talking with clients and working on the next stories and projects coming up. There is also a lot of time spent working with my web developers, the site is constantly being updated and improved. We just launched a new user interface in January. Design is important!

What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as someone who entertained, connected people and captured these fleeting moments of life. But further to that, I want to use the platform I have established to bring a voice to those who should be heard, to reach people with the right message and help make a positive impact for the world.

If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

I’d love to have coffee with my Dad who passed away five years ago. As I get older, I gain new perspectives on life and am always thinking of more questions I’d like to ask him about his life, but will never have the chance.

What is your favourite movie?

I love movies, especially time travel sci-fi like the Terminator and more recently, Interstellar, one of the most fascinating films I have seen. But as a father myself now, I have enjoyed sharing with my young kids one of the first movies I ever watched, The Wizard of Oz. It really captures the imagination and was an incredible cinematic achievement for its time.

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