Friday Q and A with Francisca Kellett

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Francisca is one of the UK’s most experienced travel writers and editors. First as a freelance travel writer and guidebook author, then as the Digital Travel Editor for The Daily Telegraph. She was most recently the Travel Editor at TATLER magazine and now contributes regularly to The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Times, where she has a philanthropy column for LUXX Magazine.

1. What makes you open an email from a PR?

A free handbag. JOKE. Something short and personal that makes it clear in the subject line that I’ll find this email useful.

I rarely read press releases, as I’m generally after exclusives or off-the-radar stories.

2. Would you open emails from PR’s you don’t know?

Sure, but again, I’m not keen on round-robins.

3. Do you answer your landline during a working day?

I do, although I’ll give short shrift to anyone that is phoning to “follow up to see if our press release was of interest”.

4. Do you like images within a PR pitch?

Usually, and yes please to a weblink so I can read more straight away.

5. When is the best time for you to meet a PR?

Coffee during the day is perfect.

6. And which day suits the most?

Any day, bar Friday.

7. What are your top 2 tips for a PR trying to secure coverage?

DO YOUR RESEARCH. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Find out who the journalist writes for and what sort of things they write about. And don’t, for goodness sake, pitch something that they wrote about last week - this happens an extraordinary amount.

Make a personal connection. Try and meet face to face and when you do, make sure you’ve only got stories that will interest that particular writer/editor.

8. Are you happy to be contacted via social media / what are the boundaries?

Of course! I only use social media for work, and I’m amazed at how little PRs use it to connect and pitch stories.

9. Spirulina or Sauvignon?

I just had to Google what the hell Spirulina is, so it’s clearly Sauvignon for me.

10. Stylist or The Spectator?

Both, although I’d probably read Stylist cover-to-cover and keep the most interesting Spectator articles “for later”.

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