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You guys asked, so here’s 10 tips on pitching publications as a journalist & securing a commission. Share if they are useful to you! Pitching as a journalist, a thread:
1. Make yourself a FAN first. Get familiar with the publication; read it religiously, engage with its features, follow its editors on social media. I can always tell when someone reads About Time, it comes through in their tone & enthusiasm.
2. Tie your pitches into zeitgeist - why now? What’s relevant about this story at the minute? What’s in the news? We’re SEO-powered places, we need to know that readers are interested & searching for this kind of content online.
3. On this, @RebeccaCNReid says: get your pitch in before 10am at the latest (don’t pitch after 5pm). She also thinks that you should never just send 1 idea unless it’s REALLY timely and strong.
@RebeccaCNReid 4. I would suggest sending 3 ideas in one email pitch. Keep a tight structure: headline, sell (around 200 words) and a link to your previous work is great. Feel free to use bullet points, to accentuate the key points of the piece.
@RebeccaCNReid 5. On links to previous work, I would only include the most recent & prestigious titles. There are certain places it seems like everyone has written for (#sorry) - those don’t hold much sway - but if you’re written for Vogue or the Times, BIG THAT UP.
@RebeccaCNReid 6. @jazkopotsha from @Refinery29UK says: “It helps to sound interested in what you’ve pitched…”
@RebeccaCNReid @JazKopotsha @Refinery29UK "The slog of pitching multiple magazines can be boring, so show editors that you care about the story, have researched it and that YOU think it’s important then they’re way more inclined to commission your idea"
@RebeccaCNReid @JazKopotsha @Refinery29UK 7. A more general point, but it’s worth thinking about your “personal brand” as a journalist. What are you passionate about? What topics excite you? What have you written the most about? Build your own brand.
@RebeccaCNReid @JazKopotsha @Refinery29UK 8. To build your brand: think about growing your own social channels & community. Build your profile; speak at events, start a podcast, a newsletter, a blog. Freelancing is often about what makes you different. The bigger your online reach = more alluring a pitch.
@RebeccaCNReid @JazKopotsha @Refinery29UK 9. Publications are heading in a multi-media direction. What rich content can you offer? Maybe you have great photos, an illustrator friend who can illustrate the piece or video content to compliment the story. Think of “added value” in commissioning you over another writer.
@RebeccaCNReid @JazKopotsha @Refinery29UK 10. Finally, make sure your pitch is *tailored* to the publication says @BenKentish. It has to be of interest to the readers, so get clued-up about a publication’s demographic, core audience & output (also, make sure it lands at the right desk)
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