The rise of content marketing has put PR and marketing professionals under enormous pressure to write a lot more good, relevant content, for their clients. At the same time news outlets across the land are cutting their editorial teams. Therefore, PRs and freelance journalists could make a very good team – however, neither party seems to fully understand the benefits of such a relationship. Public relations professionals are more familiar with how in-house journalists work, and freelancers don’t always realise the access a PR person can provide.
The increase in freelance journos is rewarding for both sides. Don’t believe us? Well, as a leading B2B PR agency we pride ourselves on our good media relationships and can vouch for the following:
Benefits for the freelancer
The biggest benefit is of course, money. Freelance journalists get paid by media outlets for their stories – which means they’re always on the look-out for a good story to write. How nice when a super professional PR person presents them with a well-packaged, ready to write, newsworthy story?
The PR person often does a lot of the grunt work for the journalist. They chase their client for information and access, gathering the right spokespeople and expert opinions for the story, and take care of all logistics like setting up meetings and interviews. In addition to managing the legwork, some PRs can act as ghost-writers and put together a basic story structure.
A good PR person wants to make the process as simple for the freelancer as possible. If travel is required, the PR agency will invariably cover the costs and make sure that all the conditions to get a good story are met. They will go out of their way to make sure that the freelancer has all they need to create a great news or opinion piece.
Benefits for the PR
Freelance journalists aren’t tied to one publication; they reach across multiple media and can spin their work accordingly. If they have access to enough material, they can turn one interview into many stories and get more coverage as a result. As benefits go, this is top of the PR list and offers a great return on investment.
When working with a staff reporter, a PR person has to be very familiar with their beat. Nothing damages an agency’s reputation more than a PR not doing their research and pitching the wrong angle to the wrong journo. Happily, freelancers are a lot more diverse in their work – they are after all, trying to land as many gigs as possible to make a living. This gives the PR person more room to manoeuvre but within reason – some freelance journalists still specialise in certain subject areas.
A freelance journalist’s livelihood depends on their work getting picked up by the various media outlets. This means that freelancers are highly motivated and work hard to make sure that their stories are published – which is only to the PR person’s advantage. Plus, most freelancers have better relationships with commissioning editors as many publications prefer working with them than with PRs.
Working together can offer great rewards for both PRs and freelancers. The PR provides access to content and commentary, and the freelancer brings their journalistic instincts and media connections to the mix. Any differences should be put aside for at the end of the day, they’re both after the same thing – getting the story published.
If you want to get your company’s story published, give us a call! Our media relations team will be happy to help you make it happen.