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5 ways to get a freelance journalist to fall in love with your stories

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/03/2016 Catriona Pollard

As the media landscape changes, we're seeing more and more journalists go freelance. There are many reasons for this, flexibility, opportunity or even lifestyle.
This change can offer great opportunities to those looking to use the media to promote themselves and/or their business as freelancers are always looking out for great content and experts to interview.
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Freelance journalists are not like traditional in-house journalists who are given stories to write by their editors. Freelance journalists have to source their own stories, and then pitch to their various editors, contending with other journalists to produce exciting and exclusive stories.
So it's worth building relationships with freelancers that write about your industry or area of expertise and proactively pitch them ideas they could use for a story.
Here are a few tips on how to build relationships with freelance journalists:
1. Research the right freelancer
It's not worth your time sending out a story idea to freelancers who won't be interested in the topic you're talking about. Take some time to research what different freelancers write about and what type of publications they are writing for.
2. Write a great pitch
Freelancers are looking for more than just a standard media release. They want an exclusive story that is current, topical and in line with the publication they are pitching to. Be sure to include any facts and figures that you may have and outline your information in a logical and easy way. Also, make sure the most important and relevant information is at the beginning of the story pitch.
3. Sending the story idea
In most instances, the best way to pitch a story idea to a freelance journalist is by email. Do some online research into finding the email address of the freelancer and make sure the email is personal and conversational. Make your email concise, straightforward and include a catchy subject line.
4. Include pictures
To make your story idea more attractive, include high resolution photos that are relevant. Try and choose a photo that is fresh and interesting that will grab the attention of the freelancer and their editor.
5. Follow up
Don't be disheartened if the journalist doesn't write back to you straight away. Try following them up with another email or even a phone call if you have their number. If they're interested in developing a relationship, a freelancer will happily respond and let you know if they need more information, and if they can use your story.
Freelance journalists want to develop relationships with reliable and interesting contacts so they have fresh and newsworthy stories to pitch to their editors. Don't be shy. Using these tips may help get that amazing coverage you've always wanted.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field.
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.
Follow Catriona:
Twitter: @catrionapollard
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