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December 11, 2019

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WitzEnd Podcast #26: Lydia Dishman, Fast Company

February 25, 2020

 

 

On this episode of the WitzEnd podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lydia Dishman, journalist and editor for Fast Company. Lydia reports on the intersection of tech, leadership, commerce and innovation. She began her writing career at a very early age, starting her own neighborhood newspaper at the age of 13. Ever since then she has been fascinated with the art form of writing, and she was kind of enough to share an hour with us, discussing her passion for journalism, reading and dance. We also get the insider scoop on how to best pitch Lydia for story ideas. Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation. If you like what you’re reading, be sure to listen to the whole episode, linked at the bottom of this page.

 

Most memorable interviews…

 

Lydia has had her fair share of interviews over the years, but there were a few that really stood out to her. One of her most memorable interviews was with Tom Brokaw of NBC News. She’s not usually one to get nervous before interviews, but Tom was different. She described Tom’s voice as “unmistakable,” and that he sounds just like he did when he was on television. Not to mention, Tom’s answers were thorough and very professional which Lydia appreciated.

 

Lydia also had the pleasure of interviewing a well-known fashion designer and former princess – Diane von Fürstenberg. Lydia mentioned that she doesn’t usually talk about herself in interviews, stating it’s not her place as a journalist, but she felt totally comfortable chatting about her personal life with Diane. The conversation went on for so long, that Lydia had to remind Diane to pack for her trip to Belgium.

 

That old stumble block again…

 

We discuss writer’s block on the WitzEnd podcast quite frequently because we love to hear new ways of working around it. This episode was no different. To combat writer’s block, Lydia likes to read or write poetry. She explains how hearing the sound and cadence of words can provide rhythm to one’s writing. In addition, she likes to build in time to review her work before her deadline, so that she can read her piece out loud and identify any mistakes or excess words.

 

How to pitch…

 

Today, pitching story ideas to reporters can be done in several different ways; however, the consensus seems to be that shorter pitches (about five-sentences long) sent via email are more convenient. That’s how Lydia prefers it too. She mentioned that she’s usually on deadline or editing a number of pieces, so a phone call will most likely go to voicemail. Not to mention, phone calls require journalists to take notes of the pitch which is much easier to do over email. Pro tip: make sure to read journalist’s LinkedIn bio’s before pitching; sometimes they put pitch instructions on their profile for PR folks.

 

Hear more...

 

If you've enjoyed these takeaways be sure to listen to our full interview, linked below. Also, be sure to list to, rate and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud.

 

 

 

              

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