Freelance Journalist Interview with Annie Makoff

“Really, really useful” press parties really, really help to inspire Annie Makoff, freelance journalist and founder of DisabledEntrepreneurs. Working primarily in the arena of disability issues, Makoff has contributed to next year’s Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, Disability Now, and SEN Magazine. Read on to find out what may inspire future articles…

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
My work is pretty varied. I specialise in disability issues ranging from news-based current affairs, hard-hitting features to disabled celebrity profiles.

I have solid experience in the recruitment and HR fields, and have produced blogs, press releases and feature articles on behalf of corporate clients in the field of HR.

I am also a SEO copywriter for a web content company where I have produced work for B2C clients.

In addition, I am one of the co-founders of DisabledEntrepreneurs, a new start-up organisation that supports disabled people wanting to set up their own business.

More recently, I’ve been a reviewer for the Rough Guide Accessible to Britain 2012.

Where are we likely to see your work?
Rough Guide to Accessible Britain 2012, Disability Now magazine, Disability magazine, Able Magazine, Changeboard, DisabledEntrepreneurs and SEN Magazine.

Whats the most memorable work you’ve done?
My article about the impact of the government cuts to mental health services which appeared in Disability Now earlier in the year. It was a huge story-breaker for them. Read it here.

More recently, my article investigating the idea of sex and confidence among the disabled community, which is here.

The most memorable work for corporate clients was my piece about employee commitment and competitive success where I discussed issues such as Corporate Alzheimer’s and Corporate Anorexia.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’m working on a feature at the moment about the prevalence of childhood abuse among disabled children due to their perceived vulnerability. I’m not writing it for a specific publication as yet.

Also, I travel to Romania a lot, and I’ve done some journalism work out there in the past. I’d love the chance to write a travel feature about Romania – there are some really stunning cities such as Brasov and Sibiu which really need writing about. A lot of people are missing out on this extraordinary country with its incredible mountain ranges, its unspoilt town centres with cobbled streets and continental-style piazzas and its fantastic variety of great food, music and culture.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Google alerts for up-to-the-minute news on specific search terms, BBC news pieces, news releases from charities, etc.

How can PRs be useful to you?
By sending me releases which are news-worthy rather than primarily product-based.

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

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I find these really, really useful – you get to meet such a huge range of people and throw ideas around.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
To stop sending out generic press releases to a vast address list – it feels very impersonal.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Being a cat behavioural therapist or a historian writing biographies of strong women in history.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I’d put it towards the DisabledEntrepreneurs business.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I’m a huge book worm. At the moment I am reading:

‘Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match’, by Wendy Moore, ‘Tricks of the Mind’ by Derren Brown and ‘Exit the Actress’ by Priya Parmar.

Blogs: Diary of a Benefit Scrounger.

[img|jpg|Annie Makoff ]
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