Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Editors from The Wall Street Journal advise PR pros at Gorkana briefing
Media relations and discourse go hand in hand – “We’re not looking for quotes,” said Deputy Editor David Reilly. “We’re looking for conversations.” In-depth conversations between editors and company insiders not only build trust, they also build relationships that will last. “The best value for both sides is having a relationship over time. Sometimes I’ll call you up just to have a sounding board,” said Liam Denning, deputy editor. “I’ll be looking for someone to debate with and tell me when I’m right or wrong.”
Heard on the Street isn’t your typical Journal section – Rather than providing breaking news, the editorial team aims to educate readers about trending topics. “We explain stories rather than report them,” said Editor Thorold Barker. “We want to share what’s coming next.” This is also why the CEO is not always the best interview candidate. Heard on the Street wants insights from experts, those who are closest to the news and usually not at the top of the C Suite.
Know what’s reasonably on and off the record – Heard on the Street editors want to learn and fully understand the topics they write about—and this happens most organically when talking on background. “We have to discuss the person (and company) we are dealing with,” Reilly said. But in certain situations like the 2008 financial crisis, off the record is not an option. “We had to put names to what Lehman Brothers said,” he added as an example. Off the record is considered a privilege, not a right.
Personal is the new pink – To get this team’s attention, make your pitches personal. “We’re in the market for ideas,” Denning said. “Emails need to be really unique and have points to them.” Share relevant information about the company, products and news as well as how they are related to industry changes or financial markets. Providing helpful insights will make you stand out from the crowd and build a stronger relationship with journalists over time.
Gorkana Media Database clients have access to even more need-to-know information and helpful hints shared by these journalists. Preferences regarding deadlines, connections between departments, and current hot topics are continuously added to the database to support more effective and relevant pitches for the PR and communications community.