Focus interview with freelance journalist Martyn Goddard

Martyn Goddard is a freelance journalist who writes automotive and travel features.

FeaturesExec caught up with him to ask how PR’s have helped him in his work, and finds out what he’d do if we gave him £1,000.

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Automotive and travel features.

Where are we likely to see your work?
Octane Magazine in the UK and Automobile, Winding Road and Inside Line in the USA.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
A series of special magazines called “Great Drives”. Over six years I travelled to 47 US states and 4 Canadian on fantastic road trips.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
It would be interesting and challenging to retrace the Motorcycle diaries of Che Guevara!

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
I keep my eyes open and talk to people when travelling. I also check out anniversaries on the net – they can inspire a pilgrimage story.

How can PRs be useful to you?
PRs are very useful by bringing my attention to a country, place, city or region that might make a potential story idea. Last winter I was able to create two major features from a simple email from a resort PR.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Email is the best way as it gives me time to think over the information.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Rather than a press trip I find assistance during the assignment helpful. I also think one to one meetings with PRs and representatives from tourist boards rewarding.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Try and target who gets what email and try and have various email list for different journalistic specialisations. Also keep attachments to a minimum!

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I would love to have had a photographer’s gallery in a sleepy town on the Northern California coast.

If we gave you £1,000, how would you spend it?
Buy an old British motorcycle on the West coast and try and ride it across the USA.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I am a great crime fiction reader – George Simenon, James Lee Burk, Henning Mankell & The Week magazine. As for blogs I run my own blogs from my website, it can be fun reading comments about your work.
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