Contacting a journalist could be a pretty important step in your marketing. You want to send out a press release, give away an interview or anything like it. And if you want to contact a journalist, you want to do it right, right? So in this article I will share how you can contact a Wall Street Journal journalist, without a lot of effort!
The Wall Street Journal does have a contact page, but not a very good one, so we are going to find a better way to get in contact with a journalist!
Determining Your Goal
First of all, you need to know why you want to contact the journalist.
- Just want your brand name mentioned on the site?
- Want an in-depth article about your new product?
- want to see if the journalist would be interested in an interview with you?
This is highly recommended, because if you just want your brand name mentioned, you can get by pretty easy by shooting an email. If you want an in-depth interview, you need to speak to the journalist better and more appealing.
But what is more important is: what kind of journalist are you looking for? If you run a health site, you don't want an economic news journalist and if you want to get your article about Barney Stinson's Magic Tricks out on the internet, you should find a journalist with an interest in Barney Stinson and not a tech journalist. So figure out what you are looking for!
Finding a Wall Street Journal Journalist
As an example, I would like to get my website about men lifestyle featured in an article on the Wall Street Journal.
1. Look Up an Article similar to your Goal
I head over to the online website of the WSJ and click on the 'Life & Style' tab. Now I look over the articles and look for an article that has the same interests as my article would have. In this case, the article 'The Ties that Shine' sounds good. Reading it over, it indeed is a good fit.
2. Look Up the Writer and his Articles
The name of the writer is Darrell Hartman, so it is a guy. When I look over his articles, I see more articles about men fashion, so he definitely has the same interests.
Basically, these are the most important steps already. We've now found our journalist we need, now we only need to get into contact with the person.
3. Google the Journalist
So I went to Google and Googled 'Darrell Hartman' and the first hit is a personal website of a writer named Darrell Hartman. Looking over his writings, he showcases his articles on WSJ, so this is the guy!
4. Contact the Journalist
Darrell has a contact page, so that is pretty easy. Now it is important to write a good email. There are a couple of things important here:
- Keep it short. These people don't have a lot of time, as this is their job. They don't want to spend half an hour on reading your email, because time = money, so keep it short.
- Be clear. As said above, be quick and clear. You should be clear so the journalist doesn't need to spend any time to figuring out what you actually want.
- Be selling, but don't be pushy. Sure, you can 'sell' your idea (as in making it better than it is), but you can't be pushy. Don't forget you are writing to a journalist of one of the biggest news papers in the world.
An example of what I would write:
Excuse me for my brutality, but I couldn't find a WSJ email address, so I found you through you personal website. I will keep this email short as I know your time is valuable.
Reading through your articles on WSJ, I saw you are always writing about men lifestyle, I have a big interest in this as well. I even have such a big interest in it that I devoted a complete website around it called http://examplesite.com. Maybe you'll find it interesting to check it out sometime.
Why I contact you is because we are going to launch a book about men lifestyle in the upcoming month and we are wondering if this would be interesting for WSJ. What differentiates this book from other books is that it is completely [insert interesting fact here].
Anyway, I said I'll keep it short so I will. Can I send you a copy of the book? I'm sure you'll find it interesting! Of course there is no obligation or whatsoever to write about it.
Thank you for your time and keep the good work up, I enjoy reading your articles every time.
That is it, only 200 words! I think this is a good limit as well, if you write over 200 words to somebody your email has a pretty big chance of not being read at all.
5. Make sure he/she reads your email
What you can do to ensure your email to be read is tweeting the journalist as well. In this case, Darrell has his Twitter account listed on his website as well. Just hit the journalist up with a tweet like: 'Hey [name], just send you an email, hope you can respond, enjoying your articles on WSJ!'
Sending reminders is a thing to debate. As they are online journalists, he probably read your email already, so maybe he just doesn't want to respond to your email. I would say send one reminder, but not more, because otherwise you will just come off as an annoying person.
Now you only have to wait for response. Make sure to have a couple of cool facts you can actually tell to the journalist, otherwise it would be useless to email him. His time is precious and the time of the Wall Street Journal is even more precious, so keep it short and keep it interesting.
What is cool about this approach is that you are contacting human beings. If Darrell doesn't want to write about my website, so what? He is a freelancer and has a couple of other jobs as well probably, so maybe he'll mention our book on another site where he writes.
If you contact several journalists from the WSJ site, you are pretty sure you get featured somewhere and that is your goal right?
Good luck! And share your experiences of course!