A lot of times, we focus our efforts on pitching on-staff reporters and bloggers at the various publications we’re targeting, and while it’s important to have these guys and gals on your media list, you can’t afford to overlook another huge chunk of the media — freelance reporters.
Freelancers write and sell their stories to newspapers, magazines, blogs, trade publications, and so on. They aren’t tied to any single publication; they work for themselves. This means that if you have a good story and a freelancer picks it up, they might be able to spin it into multiple stories that land your company in several publications. Also, your chances of getting your pitch noticed by an editor are much higher when a freelance reporter is the one pitching it instead of you.
But how exactly do you go about pitching a freelance reporter? Here are a few important things you should know.
- Freelancers tend to be more diverse than traditional reporters — Staff reporters typically have a single niche that they cover. Freelancers, on the other hand, tend to be more diverse. They often cover multiple industries and different types of stories because it gives them the chance to write more stories and make more money. This often gives you a bit more flexibility when pitching freelancers as they may be able to cover any type of good story you have for them. Have multiple pitches and angles ready when talking to a freelance reporter because they could be able to create different stories that get your company in different publications.
- Freelancers need you — The freelance reporter doesn’t have a salary to fall back on. He (or she) has to always be writing if he wants to get paid. They have a lot of motivation to write stories so they can make money and keep food on the table. That is something you can use to your advantage because they will be working hard to sell your story and get you coverage so they can get paid.
- Freelancers often have flexible schedules — Staff reporters tend to keep predictable schedules, and they’re often busy working to meet their employer’s deadlines. Freelancers, on the other hand, often have flexible schedules. They sometimes work all hours of the day and night, making themselves available whenever opportunity presents itself. This gives you more chances to make contact and to stand out with your pitch. Just make sure you know how the freelancer likes to be contacted. Some prefer email to phone calls, so keep that in mind so you don’t annoy them.
Do you work with any freelance reporters? What tips for success would you offer? Share them by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html