While Lola Ogunnaike has interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama for BET and been a regular contributor for Today and MSNBC, her first love is writing, with her byline appearing in the pages of Rolling Stone, Vibe, New York, Elle and Glamour.
So what does it take to land those coveted cover stories time and time again? Cultivating strong relationships with editors, she says in mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do? interview.
“One of the key things is to make sure they know who you are. That can be as simple as asking them out for coffee or tea or asking them out to dinner and offering to pay for both of those things, which is very important.”
Don’t think once you’ve got your story in, you’re done. “It’s also just following up with a link to a story that you may have written, something as simple as ‘You may not have gotten the chance to see my New York Times piece in the style section; thought you may be interested in this.’ What I found in my years in the industry is that most people don’t follow up. So, if you actually do, then that puts you head and shoulders above the pack.”