Since last December, when I wrote a cover story for the Financial Times’ How To Spend It magazine about how 2020 was the year of the dog, I seem to have become known as something of a dog specialist. When I wrote another piece for the FT Style section on dog fashion influencers my fate was sealed. Now I’m contributing to a different newspaper’s upcoming dog special, which will be coming out in the early summer, writing about the rise in dog-friendly accommodation and selecting the best in dog accessories.
I’ve had a dog for almost five years but hadn’t really written anything doggish until now. So I tip my hat to the PRs who had already noticed this fact via some of my Instagram posts and had contacted me about their dog-related brands, whether dog coats and accessories or hotels. It meant that when I was writing those initial pieces we already had a relationship. I’d even been invited to stay at a hotel with my dog, although the PR knew that at that point I had no commission for a hotel story.
I do now though and so I guess what I’m trying to say is is that sometimes it can pay to look beyond the editorial content and see what else is going on in a journalist’s life. Social media is your friend here. I’m not suggesting you should stalk journalists and feed back detailed commentary on their kitchen design and their children’s names because that could strike the wrong note. But if you notice they’ve got a dog or a cat or a kid or a new obsession with paddle-boarding or knitting, keep it in mind. And if you have a relevant client, don’t be afraid to reach out to them about it. Even if it’s not an immediate win, it’s all part of the longer game.