As a freelance writer and blogger, I get bombarded daily by PR folks and business people pitching me to write about them, their clients, their companies, fill-in-the-blank. I have hundreds of unread emails in my InBox, sorry to say, but am having my new personal assistant go through them and sort them based on urgency, topic and relevance to what I do.
Freelancers are juggling a million things and are always on deadline. For example, I compose at least 8 blog posts, release several podcasts, and write at least several articles EVERY WEEK.
For the record, I write specifically about:
1. Women business owners - This actually does mean women and not men (for those who pitch me male business owners all the time).
2. Women’s business issues - This means topics, themes, issues about business that have a female slant. Some examples? Women who have a baby while running their business. Women who hire their husband or boyfriend to work for their business.
3. Web applications and gadgets for Web workers - This is my non-female writing gig. I use and review various applications and gadgets that make any part of work easier for people who work predominantly on the Web.
4. Dog stuff - I’m interested in anything dog.
5. Mommy stuff - I’m interested in things related to toddlers, especially daughters, and the moms who struggle to be good mommies to them.
That’s it. Broad yet narrow. So here are ways that people can really piss me (or other journalists off). Translation: Don’t do these things, please!
10. Don’t add me to your email list without asking permission first.
9. Don’t fail to remove me from your email list when I ask.
8. Don’t pitch me without first perusing my web site and online clips.
7. Don’t respond to one of my queries (on ProfNet or Help a Reporter Out, for example) with an off-topic story idea.
6. Don’t fail to ask me what I write about or what I’m working on at the moment.
5. Don’t pitch me somebody who is not available to be interviewed.
4. Don’t use hyperbole when you are pitching - just stick with the facts.
3. Don’t attach any files to your email pitch - but do include URLs to online materials.
2. Don’t email me with nothing but the message “Wondering if you’re interested in the pitch I sent the other day.” I have no idea what you’re referring to.
1. Don’t stretch the truth. If you or your client is not a fit for my story, don’t lie to try to make them fit.
There are many opportunities to get covered by freelancer writers and bloggers. If you don’t do the things above, chances are you’ll build great relationships with some of them and get good press because of it.
What are some of the ways you build relationships with the press, particularly freelance writers?