How has the disruption to journalists’ working lives changed in terms of how they look for and receive stories?
You would not believe the number of daily emails I am getting – but I have 10,500 unread ones, if that gives an indication. One national correspondent told me he is getting double the normal rate and is ‘snowed under.’
So – check how busy the person you are pitching to is – it’s easy to see on Muckrack. Victoria Lambert at the Telegraph says the appetite for Coronavirus stories from her editors is huge, so she is ‘up to her eyeballs’ with work and is not keen on being with being followed up over and over by PRs. She says it is very rare for her to miss an email with a story in it that she likes.
Conversely, as people are working from home – many alone – you may find that some of the non-Covid reporting freelancers are more receptive to a phone pitch than previously. You might be the only person they speak to that day.
In terms of looking for stories, personally I am finding a lot of leads on Twitter now – something I did not do before – because the level of intelligent debate within the health and care professions is high. People really want to highlight challenges and share good practice.