Here’s the thing, there are not many journalists that can make a living purely writing any more. To put it in perspective, The Telegraph pays 35p a word, and so does Red. I imagine many other newspapers and magazines do, too. Of course, once you are a ‘big name’ writer you can charge more – not that much more, though.
Why am I telling you this? Mainly because it helps if you are informed. It helps you to understand journalists’ needs/motivations/positions. It’s also worth noting that magazine budgets have been in freefall in the last two or three decades. In fact, last week an editor told me the budget for their whole magazine is now less than I used to get just for my beauty section in the noughties for Elle.
This really affects how you approach pitching stories to editors and writers and massively affects how likely they are to take you up on them. We’ve come to a strange situation where your client would like coverage in a national newspaper, but it’s often not financially worthwhile for a journalist to write it.
They may still cover it, as a loss leader, to raise their profile; because they want to try the treatment/product/retreat (because they couldn’t afford it otherwise); or because they want the content for their social channels.
So if you would like coverage remember that if you can offer something above and beyond what they need for the written piece, that’s a huge boon. And if you can pitch an idea that would work for a few slots in different publications, even better.
“This three-page release by L’Oreal cleverly champions the iconic nature of their own famous tag line. It serves to credential their support for women worldwide, weaves in brand history and reminds journalists of their partnership with ‘Stand Up Against Street Harassment.”