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Focus on The with Stephen Emms

Today we catch up with broadsheet writer and Guardian contributor Stephen Emms, who talks to us about his North London website The Kentishtowner and his experience of having his own PR company.

About The Kentishtowner:

Tell us more about The Kentishtowner: It’s a sometimes irreverent look at the cultural, food and arts scene in central North London, with particular emphasis on that most unheralded of postcodes – NW5. Kentish Town is way older than its noisier sibling Camden (in fact it dates back to medieval times) so it’s only fair that it enjoys some limelight for a change – especially as it is ‘on the up.’ We’re excited that the site has just become part of Handpicked Media’s quality stable too. What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering? We cover food, art, fashion, music, history, architecture – you name it. Reviews, the odd interview and observations about life generally What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector? Two words: Mrs Kentishtowner. She’s a force to be reckoned with.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length? I’ve worked in both PR and journalism for 15 years. I run a long-established PR company EMMS Publicity (, established 2001) as well as being a broadsheet writer and Guardian contributor, so am in the interesting position of seeing it from both sides of the fence. I pitch and get pitched at; but doesn’t everybody these days, in different ways? I think PR works best when it offers the kernel of a (relevant) story that can then be investigated or explored further. If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be? Never send out generic emails which begin with ‘Hi’ and a comment about the weather. How should a PR approach you about their client? A tailored, personal email which shows they’ve read your work. What information/input from PRs is most useful to you? Relevant cultural happenings in NW5/ North London Do you Tweet? We tweet @Kentishtowner1 What media do you seek out first thing in the morning? The Guardian. Social media. If we gave you a £1000 how would you spend it? Probably on a belated honeymoon. Ahhhhh. [lnk||_self|] [img|jpg|Stephen Emms]

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