Freelance Journalist focus: Scott Snowden

Scott Snowden is a freelance journalist who writes on both consumer and trade travel. His work has appeared in many Middle Eastern daily newspapers and monthly lifestyle magazines.

This week, FeaturesExec discovers more about Scott’s work, how PRs can be helpful to him, and what he’s reading at the moment.

About you:

What do you write about?
Predominantly travel – both business and consumer – and that includes destination features and tourism industry news.

Where are we likely to see your work?
At the moment, most of it appears in Middle Eastern titles. I regularly write for the biggest national daily newspaper in the UAE – The Gulf News, plus The Khaleej Times and a few of the monthly lifestyle magazines.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
There’s been a few… I’ve just written a massive destination feature on Cape Canaveral based around watching a shuttle launch – there’s only seven scheduled missions left you know, before this icon of our age is retired. Witnessing a launch was something I’ve wanted to do since I was seven years old and meeting Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden was pretty special. I was also lucky enough to meet and get hideously drunk with Lieutenant General Mikhail Kalashnikov – that interview was in a few titles. I managed to sneak onto the set of The Matrix Reloaded while it was being filmed in Sydney by hiding in a hedge for a couple of hours – that became a feature in one of the national newspapers. I’ve been privileged to be on some spectacular trips overseas as well. Most of it is memorable.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d like to be the first journalist in Earth orbit. I’d like to try and describe in words the humbling sensation of seeing our planet from space for the first time.

About you & PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Um, my brain…

How can PRs be useful to you?
Lots of ways. I suppose the most useful way would be giving me the kind of information I actually need…and not a whole heap of other non-related nonsense, that I don’t need.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Email is fine. And as often as they want – providing they’ve actually bothered to do a little research – even if it’s speaking to me – and find out the kind of information I can use.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
More often with more relevant information. There’s lots going on – I know it, and I have to find out much of the time by other means.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Marry someone rich. Couldn’t do anything else. Well, my heart wouldn’t be in it, anyway.

If we gave you £1,000, how would you spend it?
Absolutely no idea. I’d probably leave it in a bank until a worthy cause or really good idea came to mind. I’ll tell you what, let’s try it, and I’ll let you know.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Can’t honestly think of one single piece of advice that’s become a mantra or anything. Most of it I think you have to work out for yourself, oh, aside from a golf pro who helped me correct my drive…

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Strewth, I am half way through about six different books – one of Charlie Brookers’, some Phillip K Dick…and some stuff you wouldn’t have heard of. Plus I have a mountain of magazines to work my way through. It’s frustrating ‘cause I love recreational reading, but when you spend all day reading and writing for a living, you don’t always want to read more, even to relax.
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