I was thrilled to be featured in Woman’s Own magazine last week. I was splashed across two pages, with a fantastic article about how I began hula hooping, and how it developed into Spinsonic Entertainment, teaching and performing and selling adult hula hoops online.
I have had a lot of people ask me how I got to be featured and did I write the article myself, as it was written in the first person, so here is the lowdown!
Last August I was lucky to meet a wonderful woman called Viv, at an adult hula hoop disco I held at the Prince of Wales in Moseley, along with the Bonnie Rockers who played the excellent retro tunes in the Tiki Bar at the back of the Prince. Viv runs hula hoop classes in Worcestershire, you can reach her on Twitter here for class details.
Viv was being featured in an article in Womans' Weekly, and put me in touch with a freelance journalist who was writing an article about way to get back into shape after having a baby. As my baby is now 7, that didn't work out, but I was a perfect fit for an article about women who have an unusual sideline in addition to their day job!
I was interviewed over the phone by the journalist, who then wrote up the article and read it back to me for fact checking and approval. She wrote a lovely article which I approved and she then sent it in to Woman's Own magazine.
The next part of the process was providing the Pictures Editor with photos for the article. Firstly, I got the headteacher at the school I work at to take a photo of me at my desk. For hula hooping photos, I have been lucky to have some fantastic photos taken of me by talented photographers, so I chose my favourite performance photos by Kate Jackson Photography and Leigh Saunders and emailed them to the Pictures Editor along with the photographers details so that they could choose what to use and agree the fee with the photographer.
The last part of the process that involved me was a phone call from the editor of the magazine. The magazine reworks articles from their freelance journalists, and writes them up in the 'tone of voice' of the magazine. The reworked article bore little resemblance to the original version I had heard and there were several factual errors and assumptions made!
I asked for the incorrect information to be removed and then had another version read to me which was much more accurate, and the version that you read in the magazine.
It is extremely strange to read about yourself, as if it is you talking, but in a completely different style of speech/writing! Overall though I like what they did with it in the end, and am really happy to have been featured in Woman's Own magazine!
On a side note, if you fancy being featured in a newspaper or magazine there are a couple of Twitter hashtags that you can type into Twitter that are a source of journalist requests - and they are also often unintentionally hilarious! Check out the hashtags #journorequest and #prrequest. You will see some requests for genuine real life interesting stories, shameless requests for people to ridicule themselves in the national press or on TV, and blatant requests from bloggers asking for free stuff in exchange for a review, from hotel stays to bedroom furniture to make up to nights out at bars and restaurants! Actually, that's a bloody good idea. I should totally start reviewing stuff and make this a 'lifestyle' blog rather than a receptacle for all the stuff that goes around in my brain on a daily basis. Anyone want me to review a smart hoop/luxury spa break/holiday to the Caribbean/Michelin starred restaurant? Anyone? Anyone? Ah ok then. Totally worth a try though.