Anne Wollenberg recently left BT Vision to become a freelance journalist. Read on to find out more about Anne and how she works.
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
I cover a range of subjects from arts and entertainment, technology and lifestyle features to work and careers, human interest stories and social issues. I’m also interested in green issues and health-related stories.
Where are we likely to see your work?
My regular clients include the Guardian (I’ve written for the Weekend magazine, Family, Technology, Office Hours and Comment is Free sections and one of my technology columns was selected for last December’s best of 2007 supplement in G2), DVD Review magazine and BT Vision’s website and magazine. I’ve also written for the Jerusalem Post, Fabulous (News of the World), Odeon cinema magazine and many more, and current features I’m working on include a big first person health piece for the Independent.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I conducted a world exclusive interview with the last living survivor of the Treblinka II Nazi death camp. I think this is by far the most important and memorable piece of work I’ve ever undertaken and I was truly humbled to hear his story. You can read the piece on the Guardian website.
On a much more light-hearted note, being hugged and profusely thanked by Johnny Depp after I complimented him on his performance in Sweeney Todd was also a career highlight.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do? It’s tricky to pick just one, although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dying to interview Christian Bale.
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
I use a huge mixture of sources: press releases, forward planning services, current news stories, things friends have said/discussed/complained about. My feature ideas can come out of something as simple as a friend moaning about something that’s annoyed them at work or a debate I’ve had over dinner.
How can PRs be useful to you?
I’m interested in viable story ideas and interview opportunities that have a decent news hook, and interesting case studies who are definitely available for interview about the subject you’re pitching! I’m not interested in case studies who haven’t actually agreed to be in a feature or that have been offered to 50 other journalists and I don’t want to receive a press release every time your client changes their logo or appoints a new member of staff…
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
I prefer to be contacted by email in the first instance – you can reach me at email@example.com.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I’m interested in press conferences and launches if there’s something useful to be gained, e.g. The chance to obtain interview quotes or new product information or even just the opportunity to network. But as I’m not London-based (I’m based in Bath) I need a bit more notice to get to such things and I tend to only bother with events that will actually be useful.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I have been driven slightly loopy before now by being unable to obtain straight answers to very simple questions…
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’d either be teaching English, busking on the street with my guitar or working in a bookshop.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I’d go on holiday to America. And buy shoes.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
The reading material I’ve got lying around includes Observer magazines I haven’t had time to read yet, The Big Issue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and local entertainment magazine Venue.
The Freelance Journalist Directory on http://www.journalistdirectory.com/pr/ provides information on over 4,200 freelance journalists – we’ll be running regular interviews with journalist members of the Directory so let us know if there’s someone you’d like to hear more about on firstname.lastname@example.org.
[lnk|http://www.journalistdirectory.com/pr/XXTAT/Anne-Wollenberg|_blank|Anne Wollenberg’s profile on the Freelance Journalist Directory]