Interview | 08 Apr 2019

UK & US Media, the differences plus ‘pitch tips’ from a PRO

Posted in Freelancer, Top tips, Tools & Advice, Learning, Freelancer's stories, Interview,

With a global market that has become more accessible to businesses than ever before, it makes sense, where possible to hire freelance support that can help guide you and cover both markets.

This month we talk to Nic, B2B & B2C Tech and Corporate Communications Freelance specialist about working both the UK markets and Stateside, her experience and what sets her apart. She shares with us the key differences between working these two markets and her top tips when pitching to journalists.

Tell us about your expertise Nic to start off!

I am a senior-level PR consultant with over 14 years’ communications experience (in-house, agency and consultancy) – eight of which have been on an ongoing freelance basis for three UK PR agencies. Having trained as a journalist, before moving into corporate communications in 2005, PR (in-house) in 2007 and freelance (consultancy and in-house) in 2010, I am well-versed in identifying what the media is looking for and creating the right pitches and content to successfully secure coverage in print, online and broadcast national, trade and vertical titles. My specialism though is in B2B technology PR and I have experience in M2M and IoT, telecoms, information security, software testing and quality assurance, ecommerce, user experience analytics and digital experience platforms, and consumer technology.

You have worked for multiple clients through the platform, can you provide us with a snapshot on them and the business objectives you have helped support them with?

I have supported Chinese and Taiwanese startups and global manufacturers at trade events like FIBO and IBC, securing media interviews and analyst briefings, and organising demonstrations at their booths. I’ve also assisted with crowdfunding project launches and raising awareness of new consumer technology products via media trials and reviews. The ongoing agency work involves me collaborating with in-house teams to tailor campaigns for clients and then facilitating those projects from start to finish – everything from interviewing stakeholders to write case studies for placing with relevant media to sourcing editorial opportunities for thought leadership pieces and writing those articles and opinion pieces for submission.

You have a successful track record of pitching to journalists and gaining coverage here in the U.K and the U.S. Without giving away trade secrets, what do you attribute to this success and are there any key differences between the U.K. and U.S?

UK and US media are open to new ideas but do not want to spend a lot of their time wading through waffle so always get straight to the point. It’s the most basic tip but knowing which journalist is best suited to offer the news or product review trial to is also essential. Journalists don’t have a lot of time to waste reading emails offering them something they would never consider or write about. For example, don’t send a 360-degree camera trial offer to a journalist who only writes about mobile phones.

Getting to know the journalists’ beats and tailoring emails to them as individuals – mentioning a recent feature they wrote that you think your client’s news might tie into or a different angle to something that they covered for example – will always set you apart from the Dear [First Name] mail mergers. Also, be friendly with journalists but always remember that they are NOT your friend. Remain professional and do not ever insert emojis or anything like that into (work!) emails.

What have been your biggest successes over the past 12 months?

Key media coverage successes for me over the past 12 months have included client mentions in features that appeared on BBC (Technology), The Guardian, SC Magazine UK and US, Dark Reading, Forbes, ITV News, TechRadar, The Next Web, ZDNet, Bleeping Computer, The Sunday Times, Look Magazine and Infosecurity Magazine.

Work-wise, my main successes have been in retaining freelance clients and securing new business contracts, and contacts, through The Work Crowd. I'm also currently in final stage negotiations with an American VC company seeking UK promotion, so anticipate my client base expanding even further this year.

And lastly, why do you choose to work through The Work Crowd?

The Work Crowd is different from the other PR and communications freelance recruitment agencies out there. The team is in regular communication with you so you know what’s happening and where in a new business pitch you stand. You can also review all of the new projects that have come in to see which ones you might want to pitch for – rather than setting up a profile and then hearing nothing from it.

Having the ability to see what new client projects and work has come in, and being able to apply for anything directly that you think would work for you or that you could help with, is priceless. Many of the other agencies simply do not give you the chance to see what new clients or work has been added and this is what truly makes The Work Crowd stand out from it competitors to attract the best freelancers around.

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