Tuesday, July 27, 2010

INTERVIEW: Julie Hamilton, our speaker on 7 July

If you missed our speaker on 7 July: Julie Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief of Omigoddess Magazine, here's my take on Julie's advice for you!

What is the biggest myth around approaching the media?
There tends to be a fear around approaching Editors: will s/he reject me? Will s/he think my idea won't work? The truth of the matter is, Editors are screaming out for content; they’ve lots of space to fill and your idea, if it truly is interesting and newsworthy, could be exactly what makes their day!

What are Editors really looking for?
Apart from newsworthy stories, they are also looking for a personality. Think about how you stand out from the crowd. Think about a positive angle. Look for a punchy statistic to lead with. They’re also looking for experts - one quick way to do this is to start writing a blog, as blogposts can easily translate into a column.

How would I approach a newspaper or magazine?
At all times, approach the Editor. Call the switchboard to get their contact details. Be persistent but polite! Phone first and pitch your idea succinctly. Offer to email your idea to them and do so within the hour. Follow the editor up a couple of days later - but only follow up once; no-one likes a stalker! And keep sending ideas. If you do get a ‘no thank you’ don’t take it personally; it’s more likely to be a case of bad timing.

How about TV or radio?
The same principles apply: contact the switchboard and find out the contact details of the program Producer. Call them and pitch your segment idea. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the program’s content and how your idea can add value to its audience.

What other top tips can you share with us to help us get noticed?
1. Have a detailed email signature - this helps Editors obtain your contact details quickly.
2. If blogging, post regularly - at least weekly.
3. Put short video clips on your site - it improves dwell time.
4. Be prepared to make a mistake - because you will - and you will take positive learnings from them!

If you have an idea you’d like to pitch to Julie you can email her at Julie@omigoddess.com.au or visit the website here.


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