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    Coffee with a Journalist: Lucy Morgan, Glamour

    Lucy Morgan, purpose editor and deputy website editor at Glamour, is responsible for coordinating long-term policy campaigns at the intersection of politics, female empowerment, and sustainability. 


    During the episode, Lucy talks about a story her team has been working on about Taylor Swift, the
    variance in sources she works with outside of PR, why she enjoys a quick in-person chat, and


    Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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



    CWJ View Transcription CTA


    Pitching Stories and Sources 


    [00:08:44] BB: Oh, gosh. Given the plethora of stories that are out there right now and so many
    of these, as you're saying, is like heartfelt personal, are there any that are particularly enticing
    you right now in this, let's say, early February time frame that we're in of 2024?

    [00:09:03] LM: I think first-person stories are Glamour’s bread and butter. I think any women's
    empowerment brand or women-first brand wants those first-person stories because they're
    inherently unique. They're hard to get because you're, essentially, someone to sell a part of their
    life [inaudible 00:09:24] and for it to sit on our website. That's really hard, and I don't want to be
    in a position where I'm commissioning writers to mine their own experiences and trauma if
    they're not – it needs to feel genuine. It needs to feel like there's a purpose to it.

    A lot of the first-person pieces that we do will invariably be hooked to new stories that are taking
    over Twitter. At the moment, the biggest rumbling story is deep fakes are being circulated of
    Taylor Swift.

    [00:10:00] BB: Yes, exactly.

    [00:10:01] LM: I had a lot of brilliant pitches come through about that about people who have
    experienced deep faking, or they’re concerned. They basically have so many opinions about
    this Taylor Swift is such an interesting person because people expect so much from her, so
    many different things.

    [00:10:17] BB: God, I know.

    [00:10:18] LM: She's one of those really interesting celebrities. I think anyone who comes in
    with an opinion or a perspective on a rolling news story like that, I'm always going to click on
    that first, I think, because of that timely element as well.

    [00:10:35] BB: Yes, the timely hook.

    [00:10:37] LM: That I can't bring. I'm a white woman. I'm cisgender. I'm not disabled. If
    someone's bringing in a perspective other than that, I would love to commission that.

    [00:10:48] BB: What about sources that you're seeking? Is there a type of expert that you love
    pitches for?

    [00:10:57] LM: Yes. I mean, so we also do a lot on women's health. I'm always kind of looking
    for experts across like doctors, GPs, experts in reproductive health. Really hard to find good
    experts in these areas. I think there's a lot of sort of psuedo health professionals come through.
    They'll make it really easy for you. They'll send quotes that are ready to go. You can copy and
    paste, and you can have them.

    When I first started out as a freelance journalist, I thought, great, this is what we do. We have
    quotes. They're an expert. But it's not as simple as that. You need to cross-check with other
    experts. You need people who are really, really qualified, not just, “Oh, I'm a doctor.” I need them
    to be specialized in the field, and it’s not good enough.

    When I'm editing work sometimes, a writer will have come through with a doctor who's qualified.
    But they’re a man, and it'll be specifically about gynecological health. They won't be a specialist
    in gynecological health. It'll just be general comments. I'll have to go back and say, “I'm really
    sorry, but this person isn't a fit for Glamour,” because a woman reading this is not going to be
    comforted by a man with a big medical practice who is essentially wanting PR from us. It’s just
    not right. You have to meet in the middle somewhere. It has to be right for us for it to be right for
    them as well.

    [00:12:26] BB: Lucy, I can tell you care so much. It's very apparent, and I love that. It warms my
    heart. I hope everyone listening to this is feeling that as well.


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    Connections Are Built in Person


    [00:13:03] BB: Let me ask one thing about relationships, given your care but, of course, your
    limited time. You're in the UK. How do you make relationships with publicists, ever in person,
    ever via long-term email exchanges? How would you say?

    [00:13:17] LM: Yes. I mean, Glamour does a lot of events.

    [00:13:20] BB: They do.

    [00:13:20] LM: We have our Women of the Year event. We have [inaudible 00:13:23] Summit.
    Those kind of events are really nice to meet people who I've been having those long email
    exchanges with. You do build up relationships over email. I have so many great contacts who if I
    need a legal expert, there's always one woman I go to. If I need a health expert, there’s one
    woman I go to. If I need someone to talk about politics in the UK, I've got someone I go to. I
    have these lovely contacts, but it's always nice for them to be in the same room and to meet up
    with them.

    I love going for coffee with people. I love actually putting faces to names. It makes life so much
    easier. It's just hard with the time constraints that we're all operating in. I don't have time really
    to go for a nice long lunch.

    [00:14:08] BB: No. Who does? My God.

    [00:14:11] LM: In this industry. I feel like they were maybe a thing 30 years ago. I work in an
    office full of young women who are all working extremely hard and don't take lunch. We’re all
    baffled by the idea that we could go for long lunches together. Yes, maybe one day, but I would
    like to do it more. My work at the moment, just no.

    [00:14:31] BB: I am stunned, by the way, whenever someone's like, “Oh, we can go for lunch.”
    I'm like, “Do you have two and a half hours in the middle of the day or something?” You know
    what, though? What that tells me is that it's not a busy person, by busy equating to productive.
    I'm like, “No, I don't know. I'm good with that.” Or you're such an astronomical billionaire that you
    do have that luxury. That's what it says to me.

    [00:14:58] LM: Yes, yes. Our entertainment director, Emily Maddick, she's incredible. A part of
    her job is sometimes taking clients out for long [inaudible 00:15:06], and it's incredible. I just
    think yes. Obviously, she's working so hard. Her relationship building is another level. But, yes,
    sometimes I do like to tag along and see her, kind of shadowing to see her do it.

    [00:15:25] BB: That is insane to me, the lunch. Oh, my God. Okay. But you are down for a
    coffee, a meet-up, a something in person.

    [00:15:33] LM: Yes, sure.

    [00:15:35] BB: By the way, seasonal type of question here as we get into just the year. Are
    there conferences, well, obviously, the Glamour ones but let's see if there's more, that you show
    up to that you're like, “Hey, I will be here at this.”

    [00:15:48] LM: Yes. I mean, as my role gets kind of more traction, I'm invited to more and more
    things. I went to the Women's Health Summit recently, which is basically the government's
    policy document on women's healthcare in the UK. It's really great to be in those rooms. Before
    we had a purpose editor, I'm not sure Glamour was in those rooms. Obviously, that's a room full
    of policymakers, of clinicians, of charity leaders. It's great to be in that room. I'm hoping that we
    will continue to have a presence at these events that are all about women's empowerment,
    women's health, women's safety. I mean, women's safety is such a massive thing at the
    moment. We're actually hoping to organize our own events around this as well. Yes. I can't say
    too much at the moment but –

    [00:16:34] BB: Okay. More is coming.


    Rapid Fire Pitching Preferences


    [00:23:38] BB: Okay, Lucy, a little rapid-fire question session. Give us your take.
    Here we go. Video or phone interview?

    [00:23:47] LM: I think I would go for a phone interview.

    [00:23:50] BB: Bullet points or paragraphs in a pitch?

    [00:23:53] LM: Paragraphs because I love to see how people write. I think you can get a lot
    more sense for a writer if they're writing in paragraphs. But I would always say three paragraphs

    [00:24:04] BB: Great. Then that answers the next question, short or long pitches. I would say
    short if you didn’t hear. Yes. Images attached or Dropbox zip file?

    [00:24:15] LM: Ooh, attached I think. Let me see them straight away.

    [00:24:20] BB: Okay. Email or Twitter XDM?

    [00:24:24] LM: Definitely an email. My social media is just a no-go for any work. I just don't go
    on social media, so it’s got to be email.

    [00:24:29] BB: No [inaudible 00:24:30]. One follow-up or multiple?

    [00:24:34] BB: Honestly, follow up as much as you want. I say most of the time, if I've not
    responded and it's a pitch that I'm probably likely to be interested in, I have just missed it. So
    follow up as much as you will, obviously, if it's not a commerce or a beauty thing. If it's like
    feminist empowerment and I genuinely will like it, keep following me.

    [00:24:53] BB: Direct or creative subject lines?

    [00:24:56] LM: Direct.

    [00:24:57] BB: Press release or media kit?

    [00:24:59] LM: Press release.

    [00:25:00] BB: What time do you usually read pitches? Or is it just all the time?

    [00:25:04] LM: It's all the time. I mean, I always say 7am is the best time to pitch me because
    that's when I'm doing my sort of pre-work work.

    [00:25:15] BB: Your pre-work work. Yes.

    [00:25:17] LM: But anytime, honestly. If it’s a good pitch, then I will get back to you.



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