In today's freelancer focus, Punteha Yazdanian tells us about her work for women's magazines and national newspapers, the importance of case studies, and what she'd like to write about in the future...
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
I specialise in real life features for the national newspapers and women’s magazines, predominantly focusing on love/lifestyle/crime/relationships but also love a good medical/health story.
Where are we likely to see your work?
Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The Sun, The Sunday Express, News Of The World, Fabulous magazine, Pick Me Up, Woman, Woman’s Own, Reveal, Full House, New!, and many more…check out my website http://www.punteha.com for my latest published work.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Recently, I took the story of two siblings who have made legal history in the UK by suing their father for killing their mother to the Mail on Sunday.
It took some time to trace and secure this original and unreported story, so it was all the more satisfying when it went to print in the newspaper. It was featured in Pick Me Up this last week, and will also appear in Woman magazine on July 20.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’m no travel writer but I would love to be commissioned to do an in depth feature about Iran, where I am from, and the great wealth of sightseeing and cultural experiences there are to be had there for a woman’s magazine. I’ve only ever seen one such report and if my article could change one person’s attitude or negative image of Iran and its people, I’d be happy.
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
My feature ideas are very much news-led and off the back of news reports, studies, big news stories or interesting commentaries etc.
How can PRs be useful to you?
Keep an eye on what’s going on in the newspapers and forward press releases which are relevant to today’s news, along with case studies. It’s no good sending a PR two weeks after a news story hits the stands – interest will have unfortunately waned by then, or only telling the Press about a sponsored run tomorrow at midnight tonight!
Also, I can’t stress enough how case studies are SO vital to a journalist’s ability to sell a story. Many great products or PR campaigns disappear into the ether unpublished simply because there isn’t a relevant case study to go with.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email, as and when they have anything.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
They are great for networking if you have the time to spare!
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
To respond quickly and be able to turn things round in a short space of time.
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I would love to work for an eating disorder or mental health charity, or be a wedding planner.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I’d put it to good use on holiday in Thailand!
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I’m currently reading The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, have a copy of Pick Me Up in my bag, and I love reading this laugh out loud blog: http://bangsandabun.com/