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Advice please!

Discussion in 'Journalism Forum' started by sureka, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. sureka

    sureka New Member


    I've just started out as a freelance journalist and have noticed that when I ask PR companies for interviews with artists, they want to know what publication it is for before they say yes or no.
    So I tout the interview idea around publications first, and if they are interested, I approach the PR company. But then the PR company says no and I have promised the publication an interview I can't get and irritated my valuable contacts! What is the solution??

    Thanks in advance,
    Sureka x
  2. Lupita

    Lupita Member

    Hi Sureka,

    I think the answer, to an extent, is in your question: Don't promise what you can't 100% deliver! ;)

    Say that you plan/intend/have arranged/want/have a contact who can set up/ an interview, and if the pubication demands certainty approach the PR co first.

    I sometimes cut the PR agency out of the loop, (if it doesn't burn bridges) but remember, when you do pitch to the PR rep, rehearse it before, so it sounds like a good PR opp./ in their interests and their client's. It is increasingly the case, esp. for freelancers, that journos have to be PR-savvy too. Annoying but unavoidable, esp given your role sometimes boils down to extracting information out of people. :eek:

    To add clout to the mag so the pR doesn't refuse you, you might; get some circulation figures of the mag, say the mag's ed. will be interviewing the artist's rival next week, say you've interviewed Hurst, Turner, Picasso and thought 'Joe Bloggs' would like to contribute too...' Or 'Our readers are demanding to know...' If you're feeling extra generous, you could tell the PR you'll let them see the article pre-publication (-be careful) or upon or post publication, or at the first opportunity.

    Of course there's always the fear factor that will get PRs moving too: 'We running a piece about your client's ( the artist's) dislike of art when he was a student' etc Make out your doing the PR and the client a favour: 'I thought I 'd give you a chance to respond to claims from more than one source that...'

    Oh and with all the above; remember you are running a business - just like them, so don't take no for an answer! But beware - you have deadlines today but without integrity you won't tomorrow! :D

    Let me know how it goes!
  3. sureka

    sureka New Member


    Thanks Lupita! Your advice was helpful although I still feel I'm in a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Recently tried to get a celebritiy interview which would have been perfectly do-able when I was a staff journalist, but the PR company wanted me to confirm who I was doing the interview for before they'd say yes or no. So now I have to pitch to loads of publications and go back to the PR company with the ones that say yes, not knowing whether I will have to let them publications down in the end having got their hopes up, which is obviously not ideal. Does anyone have any more nuggets of wisdom on this one? Someone else just advised me to lie to both the PR companies and publications but this is surely not ideal either!!!


    Sureka x

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