"Take the time to look at a journalist's work and what they cover beforehand rather than taking a generic approach"
Please provide a brief introduction to yourself & the titles you write for
I've been a freelance journalist for about 12 years now and before that worked as a deputy editor for a business magazine. I write regularly for The Telegraph but have had by-lines in most of the national newspapers and mags including The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mail, Red, Grazia and Woman magazine. I also have a monthly column for our local paper in Stratford on Avon.
I have a B2B background but now focus more on the consumer side and write about parenting, family, lifestyle and travel.
I've done quite a bit of broadcast journalist too and have appeared on ITV, the BBC and Channel 4 including This Morning, Good Morning Britain and Steph's Packed Lunch. I've also done interviews and reports for BBC Radio 2 and various radio stations and shows, including The Jeremy Vine Show, Vanessa Feltz Breakfast Show and The Kaye Adams Programme.
Give us the inside scoop, what is your favourite part about working as a freelance journalist?
I love the flexibility and freedom of being freelance but don't love the poor and precarious pay! I think there are so many privileges and perks to this job, from meeting lots of interesting people to getting to interview celebrities and CEO's. I still get a buzz seeing my by-line and love the fact I get to write about and explore things that matter to me.
Tell us about the kinds of articles you write
I always struggle with these sorts of questions and really need to work on my elevator pitch! I write about so many different things so, in no particular order, the last three articles I've written have been about the joys of solo holidays when you have a young family (Daily Mail), holidaying with my autistic son (Telegraph) and how to leave your dog (happily) when you go on holiday (Telegraph.)
What's the most memorable approach you've had from a PR (good or bad!)?
The worst was the PR who invited me to a 'wellness festival' a few years ago. I was promised a VIP tent, cocktails and an enchanting forest. There was hardly anyone there, the cocktails were warm cans in a bucket, it rained the whole time and 'the forest' was a muddy bog in the middle of a field.
The best was probably a press trip several years ago to stay in a treehouse in the grounds of a chateau in Normandy and our recent trip to Greece where the PR had thought of and arranged pretty much everything from car hire to the villa to a massage and even a babysitter.
If you could give a PR advice on what to do to get your attention and secure coverage with you - what would it be?
If you are inviting me to a meeting or event, I would so appreciate if you would offer to cover travel costs into London as not every freelancer lives there! Also, take the time to look at a journalist's work and what they cover beforehand rather than taking a generic approach. It makes such a difference. 'Dear XXXX' is such a turn off.
Tell us about the best press event you have ever been to!
Pre-covid I used to go to lots of events. As parenting is one of the main areas I cover, I've been to a few with celebrity mums at funky venues. The one at Chelsea Football Club with a Radio 2 DJ was quite fun and also enjoyed a lovely lunch at Berners Tavern with an author and celebrity mum blogger as well as various others with reality TV stars (Made in Chelsea is one of my guilty pleasures.)
The last press do I went to was at the Albright Club in Mayfair and they gave us brunch, a manicure and some lovely organic products – can think of worse ways to spend a morning!
Tell us something fun that people don't know about you!
I am so left handed, I can hardly do anything, like hold an Oyster card, with my right hand. I am terrible at wrapping presents, have shockingly bad handwriting and am pretty mal-coordinated in general.
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