3 ways to sweeten pitches to freelancers

Independent writers usually work with multiple outlets. Here’s how to engage with these prolific contributors—and transform a single pitch into multiple stories.

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It’s harder than ever to win placement with top media outlets.

Because of downsizing, many in-house journalists now shoulder even more responsibilities and no longer have time for PR calls or emails.

Yet staff cuts also mean more outlets rely on freelancers to help fill the news hole. What’s more, most busy freelancers claim multiple outlets as clients.

These contributors could be your “back door” to coverage. Here are three ways to successfully hook them:

1. Entice them with multimedia offerings. “Journalism jobs have changed dramatically in the last few years,” says Tamika Cody, a former financial journalist who now covers Southwest Florida for the E.W. Scripps site HelloSWFL as a multimedia investigative journalist. “We all now need images, video and even podcast-worthy audio.”

Her advice is to think beyond text when you pitch. “Call out multimedia assets or opportunities in the first sentences of your email,” she says.

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