THE Journo is a recurring feature on Strive Notes…a kind of modern day ‘meet the press’. With this installment I am very happy to welcome tech and biz freelancer and entrepreneur…Sally Whittle.
Name: Sally Whittle
Title: Freelance journalist
Employer: I write for a mixture of magazines, newspapers, trade mags,
websites and commercial clients. I also run pitching workshops for PR
agencies, I blog from time to time, and I just set up a free media request service. I keep busy!
Beat: Originally technology but have now broadened out to include general
business, HR and training, charities and the public sector. Also just sold my first true-life story to a newspaper. Hurrah!
Career Highlight: Every time you break a story or a new publication is a bit of a thrill. But I really enjoyed working for an online newswire from 1999-2001 covering European Internet start-ups. I got to travel a lot and meet really inspired people who wanted to change the way we did things and some of them succeeded. Of course, a lot of them just blew millions on inflatable boardrooms but that was fun to see, too.
Your first job in media: I was a reporter for InformationWeek UK back in 1998. Sorry, I can¹t think of anything very cheerful to say about it: rubbish money, evil boss, no air-con in the summer. But I learned stuff, and it got better from there.
Your dream job: Fortunately, pretty much what I do now. The only things I¹d change would be all my clients accepting articles without any revisions, accountants paying me on time and my editors rewarding me with chocolate when I hit a deadline.
Oddest story I covered: The one predicting an epidemic of vocal RSI from using voice recognition software ranks pretty high. I also really enjoyed meeting the scientist who spent years developing a bit of technology that could analyse scents even though perfume gave him migraines. But my
favourite was probably the intelligent Barbie doll that could select and buy her own accessories without human intervention. It reassures me to see the awesome power of human innovation and creativity is being put to use solving the big problems.
I hate it when a PR: calls an editor to complain about me. I think it¹s the only time a PR has made me angry. Everything else daft pitches, relying on outdated media lists is just part and parcel of the job. I try and educate people about that stuff through the training courses, but it doesn¹t make me angry.
I love it when a PR: says something they learned on a course helped them get coverage. Or when they get in touch with a really good, exclusive story idea with good case studies and nice pictures. I¹m easily pleased.
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