Friday Q and A with Gabriella Le Breton
Gabriella is a freelance writer who loves to write about travel, and skiing in particular, for a diverse selection of outlets, including the Telegraph, Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, easyJet and SUITCASE.
She has just returned from maternity leave and is ready for your pitches.
1. What makes you open an email from a PR?
Primarily if I know the PR and/or agency they work for and therefore trust that they’re sending me interesting, relevant information. Also if the email is addressed to me personally, as opposed to opening with a generic “Hey” or “Dear Editor”
2. Would you open emails from PR’s you don’t know?
I’ll always open an email with a pithy subject heading (without typos!) that makes it clear that it’s been sent to me because it’s relevant to my areas of specialism.
3. Do you answer your landline during a working day?
I haven’t had a landline in years but I will answer my mobile if I’m not on deadline. Although I do regret picking up when it’s to answer some hapless soul who has been told to “follow up on a press release” which is of absolutely no relevance to me….
4. Do you like images within a PR pitch?
Yes if they serve a purpose, i.e. show the quality or stupendous setting of a new hotel or chalet, or a particularly amazing swimming pool/restaurant/suite.
5. When is the best time for you to meet a PR?
Now that I no longer live in London and have a baby to look after, this has become tricky!
6. And which day suits the most?
I’m planning to make Thursdays my London days.
7. What are your top 2 tips for a PR trying to secure coverage?
Firstly, rather than go for the blanket coverage approach, sending a bland story to a massive database of journalists, take the time to develop a strong story idea, research a handful of editors/writers who are likely to take an interest in it, and focus your energy on securing a strong commissions in that way.
I appreciate that some clients prefer nibs in various titles, in which case the mass mailout could be the better option, but I would imagine that four meaty features in select titles would generate better awareness for your client than ten generic snippets.
Secondly, utilise the freelance writer to your advantage! A reliable, resourceful freelancer will want to secure as many hits from a trip/story as possible, which obviously works to your advantage as well. Give us a bit of love and we might well double your investment!
8. Are you happy to be contacted via social media / what are the boundaries?
I personally use Instagram and Twitter for work but keep Facebook for my personal use. I’m therefore totally happy to hear from people through the first two but less keen on repeated Friend requests through the last!
9. Spirulina or Sauvignon?
Sauvignon, unless there’s a glass of Kentish rose on offer?!
10. Stylist or The Spectator?
The Spectator - not just because I used to write for the magazine but because of its remarkable history and the way it respects old-school journalism in a media landscape dominated by click bait and celebrity gossip.
Follow Gaby’s travels on Instagram