"The best advice I can give is tailoring your pitches to the writer and demonstrating that you've done your research on them."
Please provide a brief introduction to yourself & the titles you write for
I'm a 31-year-old freelance writer, editor and content creator based in Toronto, Canada. I've been working in the journalism field for over 10 years now, with experience ranging from breaking news reporting to lifestyle journalism, branded content writing, marketing copywriting and more. After being laid off from my digital role at Global News in the middle of the pandemic, I went full-time freelance and haven't looked back. It was a blessing in disguise as I've had the most incredible two years honing my skills and working with incredible brands and PR people! I work with Chatelaine, Yahoo! Style, Best Health Magazine, FASHION Magazine, Toronto Life, Globe & Mail and more.
Give us the inside scoop, what is your favourite part about working as a freelance journalist?
I wouldn't trade the freedom of freelancing for anything! Being my own boss, setting my own schedule, choosing work that inspires me and learning to advocate for myself as a business owner has been the most rewarding experience ever. Getting to create and build my own relationships with PR teams, rather than relying on my employer's relationships, has been the best payoff to going freelance. Having the luxury of being picky about the work I accept and the people I work with makes for such an enjoyable workday. It's tough, too, don't get me wrong! But unparalleled to working full time with one company.
If you could give a PR advice on what to do to get your attention and secure coverage with you - what would it be?
The best advice I can give is tailoring your pitches to the writer and demonstrating that you've done your research on them. I know the volume of pitches you have to put out is overwhelming at times, but it really goes a long way to show you've at least Googled the journalist. Making an effort to make a personal connection with writers is awesome—I work with many of the same PR people, and we help each other out all the time. If you want a particular product featured, offering to send the product for the writer to try makes a big difference (and include that this is offered in the subject line!). I've featured tons of products just because I got to try them first! Similarly, being understanding that some people are not ready for in-person events or meetings yet goes a long way. Offer digital desksides as an alternative.
What is the best press event you have ever been to?
When it comes to virtual press events, probably the one I just went to with CIJ Group—the Holiday Gift Guide Long Lead Power Pitching Event. It was definitely the most well-planned and efficient press event I've experienced during the pandemic. For in-person events, the one I went to in 2018 with OGX was incredible. They flew us all out to New York City for a few days, put us up in SoHo and took us to Gov Ball!
What kinds of products do you look to feature in your articles? Are there any particular price points?
Cosmetics, women's fashion and cool, innovative gadgets that make life easier! For the most part, they need to be available in Canada. Maybe one of your brands has an interesting origin story? I would love to hear about that, too. Price points range from affordable to luxury, but normally somewhere in the middle is safe.
Tell us something fun that people don't know about you?
I'm an amateur makeup artist, too! I don't do a ton of freelance work, but I've been doing a few of my friends' bridal makeup the last couple years, which has been such a fun way for me to be involved in their big day.