Freelance Focus: Dianne Bown-Wilson

Today we chat to freelancer Dianne Bown-Wilson…

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
The changes, choices and challenges facing the 50 to 70 year old age group – those who are no longer young but are far from old. Alongside this I focus on writing about managing an ageing workforce and age diversity issues for employers and HR practitioners. Key areas of interest are olderpreneurs and women who are in their prime.

Where are we likely to see your work?
In all sorts of places – from HR Zone to Training Journal, the Oxford Times to Freelance Advisor – reflecting the wide range of issues with which the babyboomers are involved. And as I’m researching for a PhD at Cranfield University in career motivation in older workers, I’m increasingly to be found in academic books and journals also.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
See below – I’ve yet to do it!

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d love to interview the person who eventually comes up with an enduring and meaningful word to replace “babyboomer” so that people can start developing a new vocabulary of ageing.

About you and PRs

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Absolutely anywhere and everywhere including a huge array of print and online newspapers and journals (business, trade and consumer), plus blogs, conferences, books, broadcasts, research reports, conversations – and the occasional press release.

How can PRs be useful to you?
By indicating that they understand that the “over 50s” are not a homogeneous group and comprise at least two, if not three, generations with widely differing interests and concerns. People in their 50s and 60s are active, energetic and aspirational. They tend to be interested in adventure holidays, fashion, rock music and the latest in IT and gadgets. If they are at all interested in buying mobility aids and walk-in baths it is generally only to assist their ageing parents – not for themselves!

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Can be useful if well-targeted and relevant.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Not to telephone to see if we’ve received their press release.

About you

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Being a home stager in the style of Ann Maurice – I really love getting rid of clutter and smartening places up. Or a property finder like Kirsty and Phil …

If we gave you £1,000, how would you spend it?
On an Amazon orgy. Buying all those books which make it as far as my shopping basket then get no further because I tell myself I already have too many books, too much to read, and shouldn’t waste money.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Andrew Zuckerman’s Wisdom; Barrie Hopson and Katie Ledger’s great guide to portfolio careers; And what do you do: Casell & Symon’s Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research (one of dozens on the PhD pile); Saga magazine, The Week, and Time Out.

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