Michael Hunt

Contributor: Michael Hunt

I’m an experienced, versatile feature writer and reporter, within the property, arts and entertainment industries.

Currently I’m a reporter for Place North West, the leading online news service for property and regeneration professionals in the region, and North West editor for Whatsonstage.com, covering the Liverpool theatre scene.

Further background: I’ve been commissioned to write features and news releases for public relations companies including Bell Pottinger North, Lorien PR, and Artemis Media & Public Affairs for the property, business and health sectors.

Tip1 Self motivation. Seems obvious, but you need this in abundance.
Tip2 A strong news sense.
Tip3 Ability to meet deadlines. For instance, monthly magazines work three months ahead minimum, weekly publications plan around a month ahead, while weekly newspapers plan a week ahead and evenings and dailies work on day for news and around a week ahead for features.
Tip4 Good organisation. File your work whether in an office or on a computer as you never know when an article will be needed again for research.
Tip5 An understanding of what editors want. Nothing will get published if it has no relevance to the publication you are targeting. Therefore, read what past features have appeared in which publication.
Tip6 A good book of contacts. One of the most important aspects of the job. Doesn’t matter whether a person works as a refuse collector for the council or is a local MP, you’ll be surprised how important every person you meet can be.
Tip7 Willingness to learn. You never stop learning and there is no harm in signing up to journalism courses or reading the latest guide book. For instance, media law is constantly under review and can change, so it is always wise to keep up to date with the legal restrictions and how journalists can avoid costly legal action.
Tip8 Network. Always good to meet people face-to-face so they remember you and can often put you in the right direction for strong leads on stories.
Tip9 Narrow your writing to a particular area. This will develop early in your freelancing experience.
Tip10 Present a convincing package. A good headline and/or standfirst will be the first thing an editor reads and will determine whether your work will be bought or not.
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