Interview with Lucy Douglas
What’s your name and where do you come from? I’m Lucy Douglas, originally from the South Coast but mainly based in London (and sometimes overseas – bonus being freelance!)
Tell us a little bit about the publication(s) you work for I’m freelance, and I write for a whole host of titles on a range of different topics. I cover small business and startups for the Guardian Small Business Network; I’ve written travel pieces for the Telegraph and the New Zealand Herald; beauty and lifestyle features for London print titles like Mayfair Times, and online publishers like Refinery29.
When is the best time of day/week/month for someone to pitch a story to you? Any time! I don’t work in-house, and my work load and schedule varies so much from day to day and week to week, so there’s no set time that’s better or worse than any other.
Do you need a press release or will a well thought out pitch email be enough for a story to get written? A well thought-out pitch email is a great start. Because I’m freelance, I’ll won’t usually be able to write a story just off the back of a press release or a pitch – I’ll have to then pitch an idea to my editorial contacts at different publications, and if they like my idea, I’ll get a commission.
In my experience, editors don’t generally like to receive feature pitches from freelancers based off just one press release, as they don’t know how many other publications have received the same release. They want to see an original angle from freelance journalists, so therefore I’ll often need more information from PRs to come up with the best angle and pitch for a story to get commissioned. I might ask for case studies, or for the raw data if the press release is based around a survey or stats. The more flexible you can be with a journalist, the more likely it is that your story will get coverage.
How many press releases do you receive on a weekly basis (roughly speaking)? I’m not sure, but probably around 50.
Name one of your favourite start-ups? I’m a big fan of Ink-Pact. I think Charlotte is a real inspiration for young women looking to build their own businesses, and I love that there’s a social element to Ink-Pact’s work as well, providing home-based work opportunities to people who might otherwise struggle to make ends meet.
Quick fire round
Apple or Android? Apple
Mac or PC? Mac
Apples for hands or melons for feet? Probs apples for hands, otherwise I’d be falling over a lot
Name two chocolate bars you would put together to make a super bar: A secret Flake in the middle of a Toffee Crisp
Lucy Douglas is a freelance journalist based in London. Lucy writes news and features, subs, edits, proofs, writes social copy and also copywrites for brands. Douglas has a particular interest in beauty, travel and small business but she will write about pretty much anything.