You want to be in The Wall Street Journal. The end-all-be-all for many media relations clients, where your credibility soars upon mention of you or your company name. And you don’t want to just be mentioned. You want to be featured.
The Wall Street Journal is possible for you, but it won’t be easy. No matter who you work with to do your PR. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying to you. But it is possible, and we know how to do it, having landed multiple pieces of coverage in the publication – some of which were even print editions, bright and shiny in our hands.
For this print and online hit in particular, the reporter we targeted was very strategic. EASE Applications is a hospital app and ultimately, a B2B technology. But in the turbulent world of healthcare with policy and business news always firing, the hospital reporter at the WSJ would have likely found our story a bit fluffy. This is all to say, researching other angles and reporters outside of the typical beat you fall into can move mountains for you. Julie Jargon would not have been on any typical, go-to media list for EASE. She covers tech from a niche perspective of how it impacts families, doesn’t favor healthcare in any capacity, and focuses on consumers.
How to Get Julie’s Attention (From Our Perspective)
Julie is a gem of a reporter, and we aren’t just saying this because we’re publishing a blog about working with her. She is a good communicator, responsive and approachable. You will not always have this experience with reporters at such highly reputable outlets. She also fought for the story alongside us.
This opportunity started with a very personal pitch recognizing her new column and asking about what she is looking for. Then we approached with the pitch around our client. She requested a couple months to consider it after other stories in the works. We respectfully followed up and timing worked well to move forward.
Landing the Story
Supporting Julie’s efforts to convince her editor about the story was essential. This involved providing angles and ideas around broadening the story so it wasn’t only promotional to our client. This is something clients don’t always like to do and naturally, want to push back on. It’s important to realize quality journalism involves well-rounded storytelling. They aren’t here to place an ad for you.
We had the “pros” of the story handled easily. We came prepared with patients to speak with, hospitals and clinical users to interview and of course, the founders. But we were pushed to provide the antagonist, the “cons” to the implementation of such a system as our clients. We presented a handful of ideas, one including competitors in the space we felt comfortable being compared to. This was key. We did the research for her. We made it as easy as we could for her to broaden the piece in a meaningful way outside of providing contact information for interviews with competitors.
Look for reporters that you can tailor a piece of your story too – in this case, we chose how this technology impacts families. And don’t get frustrated when the reporter wants to know about the competitive landscape or why someone might not choose to pursue your service or product. It is not worth killing the story over being unrealistic. When you play nice and do some heavy lifting on this request, reporters often “reward” you. In this case, the article prominently featured our client first, with sprinkles of competitor information that didn’t overshadow.
Finally, remember these pieces take time. From pitch to print, this took 7 months to finish. The two hospital systems that reached out to EASE within days as a result were sure worth the wait though!