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    Coffee with a Journalist: Emma Kershaw, PEOPLE


    Today on the podcast we’re joined by Emma Kershaw. Emma is a contributor to PEOPLE Magazine along with being a contributor at Cosmopolitan, Apartment Therapy, BuzzFeed, and other publications. Click below to follow Emma Kershaw on Twitter and Instagram.

    During the episode, Emma starts by talking about what it’s like to pitch articles as a contributor, weeding through trend pitches in her inbox, why it’s important to share all the details about new products before they launch, and more.

    Click below to listen to the full conversation and read below for highlights from the interview:

    CWJ View Transcription CTA


    Her Inbox & Pitches

    [0:01:46] BB: Fabulous. Okay, I can hear the English accent. Exciting times in England, I'm sure we could get into, but we're going to we're going to get into that. We're going to talk about your inbox and pitches and all this great stuff. Emma, for you, let's just go right into it. How is your inbox in terms of pitches?

    [0:02:05] EK: Well, at the minute, it is so chaotic. I'm trying to keep on top of them, but there's just so many every day. At the minute, there's a lot of holiday gift guides, a lot of Taylor Swift solace with the new album coming out.

    [0:02:21] BB: Yes, yes.

    [0:02:22] EK: A lot of holiday decor stuff.

    [0:02:24] BB: Okay. Oh, decoration stuff. Okay. Got it. Because you are a contributor to various publications, are you getting pitches from publicists, and of course, then you're pitching also for your content to be in various publications?

    I do love, like I said, a timely pitch. A lot of the content that I cover is trend related. Whether it’s interior design trends, or a celebrity trend, or a TikTok trend. With those type of pitches, they will come from publicists mainly.”

    [0:02:40] EK: Yeah. It is a good mix of both. I will get quite a few publicist pitches, and I will – if it’s a good fit, I will be happy to pitch them out. Then, I will also be mindful to pitch my own ideas. Because when I first started out, it was mainly my own ideas. I don't want to lose that. Then I do enjoy pitching publicist’s ideas, and especially if it's time – I love a good timely story.

    [0:03:09] BB: What would you say the ratio is of you pitching, or using publicist pitches to aiding your pitches?

    [0:03:16] EK: At the minute, I'd say, it's about 70% publicist pitches, theirs and my own. Yeah.

    [0:03:23] BB: Very good.

    [0:03:23] EK: I think, at this time of year as well, because there's so many holiday pitches, and Halloween and then Thanksgiving as well, which we don't have Thanksgiving over here, but because I contribute to so many American publications, it is on my radar and I'm always thinking about the American holidays that I wouldn't normally have to think about.


    Her Thoughts on the Perfect Pitch

    [0:06:03] BB: Yeah. No. Emma, for you, what's a good pitch look like? Maybe, what are even the elements of a good pitch?

    [0:06:11] EK: Okay, so with the elements of a pitch, well, I've mentioned this before. Timely. Because I do work on mainly trends and stuff like that. Then with a good pitch, I always say, it needs to have the basics of the company, or the product. It sounds so simple, but I found that some publicists won't put that in, because I think they'll automatically assume that you know what it is. I think from my perspective as well, being in a different country, if it's a US specific product, then I do need a bit more background information, because some websites, even some of the big ones like Home Depot, I can't get on that website, because it must be location specific.

    [0:06:59] BB: Oh, really.

    [0:07:01] EK: Yeah.

    [0:07:01] BB: Oh, I never thought about that. Oh, okay.

    [0:07:05] EK: If you send me a Home Depot product, say, someone's pitch, then I'll need the information and I'll need that all in the email, because I can't click out and look on the website myself, because I can't get on it.

    Then also, this is another simple thing as well, but with the imagery to have the credit included…”

    [0:07:17] BB: Another song of that.

    [0:07:19] EK: It’s trying to jump through hoops a few times with the differences, but I make it work as best as I can.

    [0:07:27] BB: For you, especially with so many consumer trend pieces that you cover, what's the best way for publicists to give you the assets, the imagery and so forth?

    [0:07:38] EK: Usually, so in an email, I always like it when it comes to a Dropbox link.

    [0:07:43] BB: Okay. You like Dropbox.

    [0:07:45] EK: Yeah. Then with the Dropbox link, not a zip file. Because it's so hard –

    [0:07:50] BB: Not a zip file. Okay.

    [0:07:51] EK: - to dealing with all that. It's easy when it's all individually laid out. Then also, this is another simple thing as well, but with the imagery to have the credit included, and for me not to have to go back and ask for the credit, because if it's a timely quick story that I need to be writing up that day and say that I'm writing it in the morning, my time and then, I don't know, say it's PST time and the publicist is asleep, then I can't get that credit. It needs to be included and ready.

    [0:08:25] BB: Yeah. Now included on the actual file name itself, or just somewhere, anywhere that you can reference easily. I know what you're exactly talking about.

    [0:08:33] EK: Yeah. Anywhere that I can reference it easily, really, because that is one of the main things with the imagery, and it's a very important thing to have them. When it's not included easily, then it is more work for me to go back and ask for that. Yeah, it becomes a whole thing sometimes.

    [0:08:52] BB: Yeah, especially with the time zones and stuff. Okay, give the credit image for all your images upfront, easily into Dropbox. No zip files, basically.

    [0:09:01] EK: No zip files.




    Learn more pitch tips and insights from previous guests on Coffee with a Journalist in our journalist spotlight videos available for free on YouTube.


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