Friday Q and A with Lucy Halfhead
Lucy Halfhead is the senior editor / travel director of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, and has worked at Hearst Magazines UK for seven years. She has written about a wide range of destinations, including Cambodia, Mexico and Bali, and has commissioned writers including Margaret Atwood, Helen Fielding and Fatima Bhutto for the magazine’s Escape section.
1. What makes you open an email from a PR?
I open every email I receive (I like to have an empty inbox!) but I pay far more attention to emails from PRs that I know, and who I trust to introduce me to the most exciting and inspirational people and places across the world. A personalised subject line always works well.
2. Would you open emails from PR’s you don’t know?
Yes, I would – most get deleted after a skim read, but there are occasional gems that I wouldn’t want to miss.
3. Do you answer your landline during a working day?
No, not unless I have a pre-arranged call with someone. Otherwise, I would spend 99% of my day listening to ideas and I wouldn’t be able to get much work done. Email is definitely the best way to reach me and if you don’t hear back, that means your pitch isn’t relevant to our readers here at Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.
4. Do you like images within a PR pitch?
Yes, imagery is key to grabbing my attention! Saying that, I would prefer just one or two strong images plus a hyperlink to an image bank and the property’s website or Instagram page, rather than lots of pictures in one email.
5. When is the best time for you to meet a PR?
I’m a big fan of a late afternoon coffee here at our shiny new office, House of Hearst, which is central and easy for people to get to. I’ll have dealt with the morning’s email backlog, any urgent production tasks and tackled most of my work for the day, so I’ll be more relaxed and open to hearing new ideas.
6. And which day suits the most?
Thursday is probably the best day for me, for the same reasons as above, but I’m happy to meet at other times too.
7. What are your top 2 tips for a PR trying to secure coverage?
Make the effort to get to know the person you are pitching too – take time to build relationships with editors so that they know who your clients are and how they are relevant to their titles. Then when something newsworthy comes up, we’re immediately keen to listen.
8. Are you happy to be contacted via social media / what are the boundaries?
I use Instagram as a work tool and am happy to be contacted there within normal working hours (please don’t message me in the evenings or weekends) but I don’t have a Twitter account anymore and rarely log in to Facebook.
9. Spirulina or Sauvignon?
I believe in balance, so probably a bit of both!
10. Stylist or The Spectator?
Follow Lucy’s travels on Instagram