At our core, Press Hook has one purpose: to make storytelling easier. Whether it’s a publicist who introduces an emerging brand to a crowded industry or a journalist weaving together their piece of the week, we aim to be the intersection that keeps the process smooth, effective, and fun. As a new company with big aspirations, we are excited to have many top-tier media professionals to beta our platform. Through their helpful and constructive feedback, we’ve developed The Press Hook to meet their unique needs. Thankfully, they’ve also taken time from their overbooked scheduled to shed valuable insight into their day-to-day job and predictions for the PR and media relationship.
Today, we’re excited to introduce our first Q&A with Lindsay Tigar. She’s a lifestyle and travel journalist with more than a decade of experience. For the past three years, she’s been freelancing full-time, writing regularly for Fast Company, Travel + Leisure, CNN, Real Simple, and countless other publications. In addition to journalism, she also runs a content agency, Tigar Types, where she offers content development services to various companies. In any given month, she’s filing upwards of 60 pieces of content—from articles to copywriting and beyond. Here, we spoke with this multi-tasking female entrepreneur on how she juggles so much without missing a beat:
Tell us more about your monthly workload. Sixty submissions?! How?
Lindsay Tigar: Sometimes, it’s even hard for me to believe I turn around that many pieces of content every month. It really boils down to getting into a great habit of regularly sending pitches to editors, not taking a ‘no’ personally, and doing what you can to stay on a potential client’s radar. Since I went freelance, I’ve set aside one day per month completely dedicated to pitching. During these eight hours, I research everything a publication has shared recently, dig into the ideas I’d like to explore, and schedule pitches to go out the next morning. I also keep a file of every single angle with notes on where I submitted it, the status (approved or not), and who I might send it to next. This helps me remain majorly organized.
On any given day, I’m writing two to four stories or writing projects. This varies tremendously, depending on the time necessary for development. Copywriting, in general, takes much longer than articles since it’s more concise, and the language needs to be succinct. When I’m writing SEO blogs for magazines or my clients, those also take up more hours, since it’s more niche and technical. To keep up the pace, I keep a very regular schedule Monday through Friday.
What does a typical day look for you?
LT: Of course, in the pandemic, everything is a little different, but since I’ve always worked from home, it hasn’t been that big of a shift for me. My day begins at 7 a.m. with a 45-minute workout, usually with a friend of mine in New York via Zoom. Then I shower and get fully dressed for the day. I abide by a strict ‘no sweatpants’ rule until I’ve finished my work since, somehow, having lipstick on and my hair brushed makes me wildly more focused. I get through all emails first and, because I practice intermittent fasting, I wait until around 11 a.m. for breakfast and a break. Once I’m back at my computer, I ‘load up’ my Google docs with the various interviews, notes, and research I’ll need for the assignments of the day. Then, I turn off my WiFi and I write! I try really hard to minimize all distractions. In between my submissions, I’ll check email and, usually, I finish around 6 p.m.
It’s a big misconception that working for yourself means less hours glued to your computer. In fact, I find that I work far longer hours than I did before I went freelance—but it’s all tasks that I love, so I’m grateful. Whenever I shut my computer, that’s it. I push myself to set clear boundaries and allow my evenings to be spent relaxing, decompressing, or having quality time with my partner or friends. When I can ‘shut off,' I try to tuck myself in by midnight.
Sounds like a solid schedule. Do you tend to pitch editors more — or get assigned more? And, once you’ve been assigned an article, what happens next?
LT: I pitch my own ideas every single month to every single client. That being said, many already have specific stories they want to assign me and send them along with any approvals from my pitch list. Over the past few months, the relationship between editor and writer has changed, in my opinion, to be more collaborative. We spend more time discussing angles to get it right, and to tread carefully during stressful times.
Once I’ve agreed to take on an article, I start to think about the research and sourcing required to complete the story by deadline. Usually, I work on a one-week to three-week turnaround time based solely on the client’s needs. If there is anyone (an expert) or anything (a product) that I know is a fit right-off-the-bat, I’ll email them first. Then, I’ll seek other pitches by posting in network groups on Facebook. Most recently, though, I’ve used Press Hook to explore brands and [experts] through your marketplace. I love the ease of searching, the simple way to get in contact with publicists, and how I don’t have to go searching for high-resolution images. (You’d be amazed at how much time that takes!) I’m excited to see more companies use Press Hook to truly create a one-stop destination for many of my sourcing needs.
Then, I reach out to everyone with specific questions, provide a deadline (with some wiggle room), and then check in if I don’t hear back. I always read through responses as soon as I receive them, and if I need clarification or more info, I’ll get in touch ASAP. As crazy as it sounds, I try to work a week ahead of my deadlines, so I never miss any of them with my editors. And with all articles every month, I repeat this process!
How can publicists stand out to you? What’s helpful? What’s not?
LT: I’m so appreciative of the hard-working, tireless publicists who always pitch their clients. I’m often impressed with how many pitches I receive in a day—usually upwards of 300—and wonder how they have time to track so many writers and opportunities. Though I sadly can’t reply to every email, when something is interesting to me, I’ll save it for the future so I can think about it and formulate a pitch to an editor. I tend to remember those who send really killer ideas, or those who come in when I’m in a bind. Say a nutritionist drops the ball and I’m left scrambling. If another publicist comes in and somehow pulls it off in an hour, I’m so grateful for the hustle.
It’s helpful for me to receive information—but not endless follow-ups. Unfortunately, freelancers never know when a story is going live (wish I did), and it’s tough to say that via email 10 times. The same goes for changing anything in a story that’s published, which is out of our control, too. Also, response time matters! If I submit a product or interview request via Press Hook, and a week goes by, I’ve probably finished with the story already.
What advice would you give to a journalist new to Press Hook?
LT: Have fun! My favorite part of Press Hook is browsing through the ‘Explore brands’ that’s full of interesting and unique companies. I’ve been able to add more character and diversity to my stories by searching and reading. As more publicists join Press Hook, it’ll become the new norm of requesting samples and securing interviews, so it’s smart to add it to your sourcing habit sooner. It can be an invaluable resource that manages your story development process for you, saving time—and giving you more hours to dedicate to building your business. It’s a win-win for me!