This week freelance journalist and publisher Darryl Bullock discusses how PRs are invaluable, his passion for music and his very own blog.
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
I mostly write about food, specifically regional food and drink, green and ethical issues and LGBT issues, although like all jobbing freelancers I’ll turn my hand to almost anything! I’m always interested in hearing about new food and drink products, schemes and projects,
Where are we likely to see your work?
I write a regular focus on regional food and drink for Essentially Catering, I write the food page and events section for The Spark magazine and I edit the L&G section for Venue as well as contributing food and drink features and reviews. I’ve written for dozens of publications over the years, regionally, nationally and internationally including the Bath Chronicle, the Bristol Evening Post, 3Sixty, the Pink Paper, A Bear’s Life (USA), Palmyra Explorer (UAE), Folio, and for a number of B2B publications and one offs.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
There have been so many, but on a purely personal level the most memorable have been some of the interviews: I’ve interviewed people as disparate as Nigella Lawson, David Gedge of The Wedding Present (a huge musical hero of mine), A S Byatt and James Watson, one of the discoverers of the DNA double helix.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
Unfortunately it couldn’t happen now, but I would have loved to interview John Lennon.
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
All over the place, but a lot of the ideas for food and drink features come from PRs
How can PRs be useful to you?
PRs can be invaluable: a simple, short, well-written PR with a couple of good images will often start the ball rolling and at least give me enough info if I want to pitch a feature to one of the magazines I contribute to.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Email – I’m never far away from the PC! email@example.com
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Not being based in London I don’t often get invited to fancy press bashes, but I try not to miss any relevant ones happening locally. I have written for all of the region’s major publications over the last 16 years and do get invited out a lot, but I prefer to concentrate on those that have some relevance to the areas I cover: food and drink and L&G especially.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Don’t clog up my inbox with irrelevant press releases: I do sometimes get annoyed with people who tend to believe that there’s nothing happening outside of London. Bristol, where I’m based, is a huge, vibrant city with a number of thriving media outlets. Look beyond the end of your nose!
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
God knows; I can’t do anything else! I guess it would have to be something music-based: I used to play bass in a band with your boss!!
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
A new bed, some gadgets for the kitchen and any number of CDs on my wish list: the Coals to Newcastle box set from Orange Juice would be first.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I’ve just finished reading the Second Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, a spin off from the QI TV show. There’s always a music biography somewhere close at hand and I’m about to start the Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes – I’ve been sent a review copy by Jonathan Cape and it looks stunning. The latest issues of both Venue and The Spark are usually within reach, naturally. I dip in and out of blogs, mostly those that concentrate on obscure and hard-to-find music. I have my own at www.worldsworstrecords.blogspot.com.