Do you target your content pitches and press releases appropriately?

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Earlier this year Hubspot surveyed 500 journalists about PR tactics for pitching stories that were counter-productive (link to piece at the bottom).

That’s the polite way of saying they drew up a list of what irks journalists.

I’m sure there won’t be anything on the list to surprise seasoned PR’s – and this isn’t a post about dos and don’ts* – but there is one broader lesson: ‘Know the audience’.

Research the audience

When pitching to journalists this means not only knowing their patch but also understanding the publication/website and who its audience is.

I’ve worked with many brilliant PR’s over the years but the one who regularly sent me stories about window boxes wasn’t one of them.

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Do you have something to say?

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Opinion pieces have been part of my working life for many years.

As a journalist on a weekly business magazine, I used to commission and edit guest columns. Now as a freelance, I ghost-write them for clients who don’t have the time or find writing difficult or a chore. 

I also help people get better at writing them as part of my in-house writing workshops.

Common mistake

When I was an editor and people pitched their opinion piece ideas to me, the most common mistake was an obvious one: Their idea lacked an actual opinion.

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Media training that demystifies B2B journalism

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Photo by Tom Rogerson on Unsplash

When I was B2B property journalist, expert sources were essential to my job.

They gave me stories, feature ideas and valuable comment.

Over the years I gathered a core group of industry insiders who were my go-to people when I was looking for information or help or an opinion on a breaking story.

Reliable and honest

My expert sources were reliable, available and honest, and as a result, they got plenty of coverage.

As part of my in-house B2B media training, I talk about the importance of building up relationships with journalists within your industry, what they are looking for and how to get quoted.

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Learning to teach – my first content writing workshop

jeshoots-com-436787-unsplash.jpgWhen I was first asked if I could do a content writing workshop, after giving an enthusiastic “yes” I started feeling a bit nervous.

It is one thing being able to write and edit but quite another being able to explain it to others. It’s a different skill set.

As a teenager, I struggled with maths, it was like an obscure foreign language to me.

My maths teacher was kind and patient but after two years I was still struggling and my exam results weren’t great.

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How I got a portfolio career

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Last year when I was exploring what I wanted to do next in my career I met with a careers advisor who suggested a ‘portfolio career’ might be the direction to go.

I wasn’t entirely sure what a portfolio career was and how you approached getting one but looking back over the past 12 months of self-employment I now know.

It’s happened by stealth rather than design, people asking me if I can take on certain work.

My ‘portfolio’ of work to date covers a lot that is obvious but also many areas I hadn’t initially considered as a freelance:

• Content writing

• Copywriting

• Ideas generation/content strategy

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