Cracking the Freelance Code

Understanding how to successfully pitch freelancers can be an important part of your organization’s earned media strategy. Our colleagues at FGS’ Health Media Insights newsletter share some tips on engaging freelance journalists:

  1. Familiarize yourself with their work. Public databases like The Open Notebook and Successful Pitches provide insight into freelancers’ accepted pitches, which often have a highly developed narrative and include the names of subject matter experts they plan to interview. Diving into these resources can help give you an idea of the level of detail the freelancer might be looking to include in a future story.
  1. Build in longer timelines. Freelancers don’t have as much control over when their stories are published, so a best practice is to pitch evergreen trend stories rather than timely news with a set release date. 
  1. Study their go-to outlets. If you’re targeting a freelancer who often writes for a particular outlet, be sure to review that outlet’s pitching guidelines to give you a sense of what the reporter’s story will need to be successful. A wide-ranging library of media outlets’ pitching guides is available here.

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