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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PR TIP: How To Best Pitch Freelance Journalists

Often times your business, company or brand will need to pitch reporters to write a story about something that is important to your brand.  Whether you will need to pitch various publications, blogs, or others on your  media list, you’ll also need to pitch freelance writers.  Freelance journalists write to sell their stories.  They typically sell their content to magazines, trade publications, newspapers, online news websites, blogs and more. When working with them it’s  important to remember they work for themselves, not directly for an organization or publication.  And that is exactly what makes them an important group to pitch your story to; their multiple relationships with a variety of news organizations.  An editor may turn you down when you email them a story about your company, but they are much more likely to listen when a freelance writer brings them a completed story, ready to go.

Customized media pitching can be a time consuming process. If you don’t know how to do it, or don’t have the ample time needed to do it right, consider hiring a PR professional to take this task on for you. Contact our team at to find out how we can assist you. If you’ve decided to pitch them on your own, here are a few things you should know, according to

1.     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."

2.     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.”

3.     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.”

We recommend one on one communication when pitching a freelance writer. They’ll respond more to a customized email or 60 second phone pitch than they will to a large press release blast.  Be personable and honest with them about your media goals and the message you want to send.  Follow them on twitter, and show social media support when they write about your topic. A thank you note is not necessary in most cases, you provided them with content that allowed them to make money writing your story.  Re sharing their story or supporting them on social media is thank you enough.

Are you a freelance writer and have a comment? Leave it below. We’d love to hear from you!
PR TIP TUESDAY is something new we are brining to our blog, Pink Energy by CEM. Our goal is to bring awareness to you about topics that relate to PR and Marketing. Last week we featured the Press Release and how we can help you get your news in the national media spotlight. This week, we are covering how to best pitch freelance journalists to cover your story. Have an idea you want to see featured on Pink Energy? Tweet your idea to @CEMManagement or email us at

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