Saying that Scott Neumyer has written for a slew of publications would be an understatement. As a freelance journalist, he has managed to make impressions at places like ESPN, to Slate and Mens Fitness.
Muck Rack got a look inside the writer’s professional career and how he thinks media professionals should interact with Twitter.
Muck Rack: How do you use Twitter as a journalism tool?
Scott Neumyer: In terms of work, I’ve used Twitter not only to get in touch with people I’m trying to interview or to follow news stories. But also, for instance, I recently interviewed Bryan Fuller, the creator and producer of Hannibal. My initial connection to him was on Twitter. He tweeted back and then we started DM’ing each other, it snowballed from there and we ended up talking for two hours for an interview. It’s been influential, being on Twitter.
MR: What’s your favorite part of being a journalist?
SN: I just like stories. I’ve done so many different things. I’ve done PR, I’ve written fiction, but journalism is just the mix of everything. You get the stories that are sometimes just as good as fiction, you get to connect with really interesting people, you get to include your own stories, and you get to take that little bit of nonfiction and turn it into something really compelling. That’s really interesting to me.
Scott’s Muck Rack Profile
MR: To what extent do you think that journalists and media professionals should use Twitter?
SN: I think Twitter is a good way for PR people to reach out. I’ve been in PR for a long time. I am not only a journalist but a publicity manager at a PR firm. We use Twitter all the time for PR. I think it works both ways, as long as you’re not being spammy about it, it’s a great tool. Same thing for journalists, if you’re spammy no one will follow you. I think in terms of journalism, Twitter is a great tool, but where it gets scary is with the rush to be first. Which is what everyone talks about, especially after the Boston bombings, everyone seems to be rushing to be first. A lot of bad information came out, it was just a huge mess.
MR: In your Muck Rack profile, under the interview section, it asks what advice you would give to aspiring journalists. You responded ‘Write, Have thick skin.’ Can you expand on this sentiment?
SN: That’s really my advice, probably the best advice I could give to a writer. If you want to be a journalist, and you want to write, then write. Don’t talk about it. People talk for years and years about how they want to write, and then they never do it. Write and have thick skin, because you’re going to get rejected over and over and over again. If you stop at your first rejection you’ll never get anything done. I once saw something that said if an editor rejects three pitches in a row you should stop pitching. That was the dumbest thing I ever heard, I wrote back and said if I had stopped pitching editors after three rejections I would have never gotten anything published. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be persistent and not take it personal.