Our purpose with this series is to educate readers on how to more effectively pitch reporters and garner media hits. We hope you find this series useful. Please leave any comments or questions below!
In this edition of the HLS, we interviewed Carrie Iorizzo, a freelance reporter.
1. What beats/topics do you normally write about?
I usually write about medical related subjects, nutrition, health & wellness. I also write quite a few parenting articles and the occasional real estate article. In the past, I wrote on food related topics.
2. Why do these particular subjects interest you?
I am a retired registered nurse and administrator. I also have experience in food service and real estate.
3. What is your favorite part about your job?
I enjoy the flexibility of freelancing and the opportunity it gives of meeting some very interesting folks. You also find yourself knowing a little bit about everything!
4. What is your least favorite part about your job?
Many writers devalue their skill and work for wages for less than they should. Many contractors also don’t appreciate the value of a good writer.
5. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Writing can be a hit and miss career. Every now and then you have to work in the “real world” when gigs are in short supply – until you can establish yourself.
6. How has the journalism field changed since you first started writing and what are you doing to adapt?
At one time journalism meant newspapers – print. Now it means so much more, the bulk of it online content. Researching stories has become so much easier and I think there are more job opportunities. But I grew up in print media so I’m probably not as adept as some younger writers at utilizing social media to its fullest extent.
7. When did you first learn of HARO and how has it changed your job?
I have only recently started using HARO but it has made a huge difference in the quality of articles I can now produce and the quantity. Finding reliable sources such as you find at HARO is awesome and only adds to the credibility of any work I do. Right now I have a three book deals and I was able to find some awesome sources on HARO. (Thanks to all of you wonderful experts!)
8. Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to PR professionals pitching you a story?
As of yet, no one has approached me from HARO, but I do find a lot of people undervalue the art of writing. It’s not easy sitting all day long – and sometimes into the late night – and remain creative. A number of people are also unrealistic about timelines and deadlines.
9. What tips or pointers would you offer to PR professionals looking to pitch you a story?
Writing is a passion, but it’s also a job. A project needs to keep my interest and be financially attractive. It’s the “what’s in it for me” scenario – as callous as that may sound. If they’re offering a royalty type deal then the project has to have a broad audience, a feasible marketing plan, and believable sources. It always helps if the subject matter is a personal passion.
10. Does social media play a role in your job? If so, how big of a role?
As I said in my response to question six, I grew up in print media, so I’m not as adept as some younger writers at utilizing social media to its fullest extent.
11. Where can people find you in the social media universe? Do you welcome people pitching you via social media?
I’m on LinkedIn, but I prefer to be contacted via email or phone. I’m just an old fashion girl, I guess.
12. What advice would you give someone who is looking to get started in the journalism field?
Be patient and be passionate. Be prepared to do work that you may not be too excited about from time to time. Be prepared to throw in the towel every now and then, but know you’ll always return because once it’s in your blood it won’t let you go. Develop your own voice. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth and remember your time and talent is worth a lot more than what you think.