Five Stages of Landing Your Brand in The Wall Street Journal

The crème de la crème of business journalism – The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times – is on most companies’ dream list of publications. It’s an honor to be quoted, featured, or even mentioned in these coveted outlets, but it’s also some of the toughest to break into. Hiring a PR agency with business media savvy and strong relationships is a start to securing top-tier placements in this “Grand Trifecta”, but the secret to landing these outlets takes more than that. It’s a combination of time, patience, compelling news and stories, and sometimes – a little luck. In fact, landing yourself in one of the Trifecta publications is a lot like finding the right romantic partner. There are stages of getting to know a reporter at one of these outlets, nurturing the relationship, and commitment necessary for a long-term company-reporter relationship to thrive.

Here are the five stages of wooing one of the big three – The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Financial Times – for the coverage of your dreams.

Stage One: Courting

Like romance, building a relationship with a top-tier journalist requires a period of courting, building a foundation, mutual trust, and nurturing. While PR agencies live and die by their relationships with media, it’s just as critical that your company spend time nurturing those relationships once an introduction is made.

Leave the chocolates and flowers at home. The courting stage with a journalist begins with the old-fashioned networking rule of service. Remember that journalists are people, too, and gravitate to sources who are helpful, thought-provoking, and collaborative. Cold pitching a top-tier journalist may work when there is a big piece of news but a fruitful, long-lasting partnership usually starts months or years before there that news even exists. As such, connect with the relevant journalist in your sector at conferences, social media, and show an interest in their stories.

 

Often, the best relationships between a company spokesperson and a journalist comes from unrelated opportunities – a chance meeting at a conference, connecting over coffee, chatting over Twitter, or sharing a mutual love for a sports team or restaurant. A top-level journalist is more likely to take your executive’s call or respond to a pitch if there’s a foundation already established.

Stage Two: Commitment  

Eventually, the courting stage ends and it’s time for a more serious commitment. Top-tier reporters are worthy of your best news and exclusivity, so in the words of pop culture icon, Beyonce, “if you want it, then you better put a ring on it.”

This is the phase where a company really leans on their PR agency to determine if and when a piece of company news is substantial enough to pass along as an exclusive to a reporter. For example, a company acquired by a publicly traded company would be considered compelling enough to the right journalist. However, it’s entirely up to the reporter to decide whether or not to accept the exclusive and if there is enough information to work with for an interesting story.

Private companies often miss the mark on M&A announcements because they’re unwilling to disclose financials or don’t offer up enough advance notice for a reporter to gather the information. A top-tier journalist will dig into all the financials, seek out details and ask questions. If your company is unwilling to hand this over – the equivalent of sharing a key in most romantic relationships – then it’s unlikely the exclusive will be accepted or the news covered.

Stage three: Love & Marriage

At this stage, your company or executive is a regular resource for a few handfuls of top-tier journalists. That reporter may call directly for a story he or she is working on, or you may also feel comfortable calling to meet for coffee and speak generally about what is happening in the industry. This is a highly desirable phase to be in with any reporter because it signals a level of trust and mutual respect is established.

The love & marriage stage is ideally, a long-lasting one, and like real-life marriage, requires regular communication and friendship in order to thrive. It’s important at this stage to still be thinking about meeting the journalist’s needs. After all, relationships are a two-way street; you are a resource, and the reporter still has a job to do. Be considerate of their time and always, always meet the deadline. It can take years to build a strong relationship but only minutes to ruin it.

Stage four: Happily, ever after (most of the time)

A key to landing in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Financial Times is to ensure that your conversations or pitches are always relevant to the reporter. Top-tier journalists tend to cover breaking news and current events. Even if you have a good relationship with a journalist, it’s unwise to pitch them irrelevant story ideas or company news that are self-serving, self-promotional, and irrelevant to the trends happening in the industry.

Breaking news will often dictate news cycles and headlines, so if you have a big announcement that happens to land around the same time as a big national event, expect to drown in the noise. In early January many companies experienced this when an unexpected insurrection unfolded on TV and the world reacted to the shocking events. Here is where your PR agency can be your strongest line of defense – and offense. Look to their guidance on what to do next, how to pivot, and rework your approach. It’s unlikely that reporters will be paying attention to any unrelated pitches during a week like that – unless of course, your company can be a valuable resource for commentary or pitch an angle or perspective that ties into that news cycle. Times like these can be tricky to navigate and we caution companies to approach these situations with sensitivity. The key to keeping your happily ever after is not always a black and white strategy, so make sure you know what you’re pitching and be flexible on when.

Stage five: Raising children and furbabies

This final stage is where you and the reporter finally get to work together on a story and bring your baby, or in this case – the article – into the world. When the time comes to pitch in a company announcement or a unique industry perspective, there’s always a chance that it might not work with the story the reporter is writing, or it gets edited out from the final version. This is outside of anyone’s control. Yet, securing placement in one of these publications is an impressive accomplishment. The Wall Street Journal and the like don’t cover just anyone – they’re the best of the best in their field and it is a huge win to be included in an article.

Landing your brand in the most elite publications in the world is a great accomplishment and usually the result of many people’s efforts – PR professionals, spokespeople, a marketing team. It takes a village to make this possible, but it all starts with a little wooing and building a great relationship long before you need it.

PR Assistant

San Diego, CA
Close

Our ideal candidate is a news and digital marketing junkie, who loves the thrill of pitching top-tier business media, writing a timely blog post and managing client PR & marketing campaigns. Pitching the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch? No problem. Searching and networking for the next great speaking opportunity for a client? Of course! You live to see your clients featured in the spotlight. KCD PR is hiring a full-time Senior Associate based in San Diego or virtual (with some travel to San Diego!) to join our growing agency specializing in the financial, fintech and emerging technology industries. This position works directly on a small, collaborative team on public relations, digital marketing and social media campaigns for our diverse roster of clients across the nation in emerging categories like fintech, AI, SaaS, cybersecurity and blockchain. This position promises to offer an exciting, fast-paced work environment, access to clients and the opportunity to grow within the firm. If you enjoy rubbing elbows and supporting some of the brightest names in financial and technology with brand-building public relations and marketing campaigns, we want to hear from you. We have a caring and rewarding culture and a fun work environment – we work as hard as we play!  Expect a fast paced day and plenty of opportunity to shine and be rewarded for your hard work.

What You Will Be Doing at KCD PR:
•  Key contact for clients, supporting daily communications for 5-7 key client accounts
•  Partnering with other KCD PR team members on content creation and support of collateral materials and client events
•  Key role on agency marketing initiatives – creating company newsletter, blog content and digital PR and marketing campaigns
•  Participates in day-to-day media monitoring of client and industry news
•  Creating press releases, fact sheets and various other press materials
•  Strategizing on public relations and marketing goals and objectives
•  Pitching/conversing with national business and technology media on behalf of KCD PR clients
•  Managing social media marketing content for new clients and knowledge to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and YouTube
•  E-Marketing management, blog posts and landing page content creation
•  Utilizing social media to promote client news/events updating/creating pages for clients, web content revisions for client web sites
•  Editing web site content, uploading videos, often first draft of client work

Does This Sound Like You?
(*Must meet all criteria*) Candidates with previous experience working in related roles in the financial services and technology industry will be given priority. No recent graduates will be considered.

At least 3+ Years previous PR or marketing agency experience (with technology and/or financial services clients)
Bachelor’s Degree in related field (Communications, Marketing, Finance, Business or related field)
You have proven skills of integrating and leveraging social media programs, print and broadcast media to heighten client exposure and visibility
You have a strong knowledge of the financial and technology markets and know the trends, opportunities and challenges that face many of the agency’s clients
You’re a communication guru and have a strong portfolio of writing (creative and strategic) and possess a healthy network of media contacts that have helped garner impressive results
Experience managing multiple client accounts and collaborating with a team of internal resources
Superior, proven written and oral communication skills and an obsession with detail-oriented results
Ability to speak with clients, participate on conference calls and maintain high level of professionalism and maintain confidentiality of client information
Knowledge of WordPress, basic website editing and Hubspot marketing software systems a plus (as is Hubspot certification)

Compensation:
Competitive salary based on commensurate experience, bonus program for smart goal performance, 401 (k) retirement plan with full company match and annual company profit sharing contributions, generous group health care plan options, PTO plus paid company holiday from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, free beer, breakfast and all sorts of goodies at our awesome co-working space in Little Italy, direct deposit, mass-transit/biking incentives.

PR Assistant 2

San Diego, CA
Close

Our ideal candidate is a news and digital marketing junkie, who loves the thrill of pitching top-tier business media, writing a timely blog post and managing client PR & marketing campaigns. Pitching the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch? No problem. Searching and networking for the next great speaking opportunity for a client? Of course! You live to see your clients featured in the spotlight. KCD PR is hiring a full-time Senior Associate based in San Diego or virtual (with some travel to San Diego!) to join our growing agency specializing in the financial, fintech and emerging technology industries. This position works directly on a small, collaborative team on public relations, digital marketing and social media campaigns for our diverse roster of clients across the nation in emerging categories like fintech, AI, SaaS, cybersecurity and blockchain. This position promises to offer an exciting, fast-paced work environment, access to clients and the opportunity to grow within the firm. If you enjoy rubbing elbows and supporting some of the brightest names in financial and technology with brand-building public relations and marketing campaigns, we want to hear from you. We have a caring and rewarding culture and a fun work environment – we work as hard as we play!  Expect a fast paced day and plenty of opportunity to shine and be rewarded for your hard work.

What You Will Be Doing at KCD PR:
•  Key contact for clients, supporting daily communications for 5-7 key client accounts
•  Partnering with other KCD PR team members on content creation and support of collateral materials and client events
•  Key role on agency marketing initiatives – creating company newsletter, blog content and digital PR and marketing campaigns
•  Participates in day-to-day media monitoring of client and industry news
•  Creating press releases, fact sheets and various other press materials
•  Strategizing on public relations and marketing goals and objectives
•  Pitching/conversing with national business and technology media on behalf of KCD PR clients
•  Managing social media marketing content for new clients and knowledge to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and YouTube
•  E-Marketing management, blog posts and landing page content creation
•  Utilizing social media to promote client news/events updating/creating pages for clients, web content revisions for client web sites
•  Editing web site content, uploading videos, often first draft of client work

Does This Sound Like You?
(*Must meet all criteria*) Candidates with previous experience working in related roles in the financial services and technology industry will be given priority. No recent graduates will be considered.

At least 3+ Years previous PR or marketing agency experience (with technology and/or financial services clients)
Bachelor’s Degree in related field (Communications, Marketing, Finance, Business or related field)
You have proven skills of integrating and leveraging social media programs, print and broadcast media to heighten client exposure and visibility
You have a strong knowledge of the financial and technology markets and know the trends, opportunities and challenges that face many of the agency’s clients
You’re a communication guru and have a strong portfolio of writing (creative and strategic) and possess a healthy network of media contacts that have helped garner impressive results
Experience managing multiple client accounts and collaborating with a team of internal resources
Superior, proven written and oral communication skills and an obsession with detail-oriented results
Ability to speak with clients, participate on conference calls and maintain high level of professionalism and maintain confidentiality of client information
Knowledge of WordPress, basic website editing and Hubspot marketing software systems a plus (as is Hubspot certification)

Compensation:
Competitive salary based on commensurate experience, bonus program for smart goal performance, 401 (k) retirement plan with full company match and annual company profit sharing contributions, generous group health care plan options, PTO plus paid company holiday from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, free beer, breakfast and all sorts of goodies at our awesome co-working space in Little Italy, direct deposit, mass-transit/biking incentives.

PR Assistant 3

San Diego, CA
Close

Our ideal candidate is a news and digital marketing junkie, who loves the thrill of pitching top-tier business media, writing a timely blog post and managing client PR & marketing campaigns. Pitching the Wall Street Journal or TechCrunch? No problem. Searching and networking for the next great speaking opportunity for a client? Of course! You live to see your clients featured in the spotlight. KCD PR is hiring a full-time Senior Associate based in San Diego or virtual (with some travel to San Diego!) to join our growing agency specializing in the financial, fintech and emerging technology industries. This position works directly on a small, collaborative team on public relations, digital marketing and social media campaigns for our diverse roster of clients across the nation in emerging categories like fintech, AI, SaaS, cybersecurity and blockchain. This position promises to offer an exciting, fast-paced work environment, access to clients and the opportunity to grow within the firm. If you enjoy rubbing elbows and supporting some of the brightest names in financial and technology with brand-building public relations and marketing campaigns, we want to hear from you. We have a caring and rewarding culture and a fun work environment – we work as hard as we play!  Expect a fast paced day and plenty of opportunity to shine and be rewarded for your hard work.

What You Will Be Doing at KCD PR:
•  Key contact for clients, supporting daily communications for 5-7 key client accounts
•  Partnering with other KCD PR team members on content creation and support of collateral materials and client events
•  Key role on agency marketing initiatives – creating company newsletter, blog content and digital PR and marketing campaigns
•  Participates in day-to-day media monitoring of client and industry news
•  Creating press releases, fact sheets and various other press materials
•  Strategizing on public relations and marketing goals and objectives
•  Pitching/conversing with national business and technology media on behalf of KCD PR clients
•  Managing social media marketing content for new clients and knowledge to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and YouTube
•  E-Marketing management, blog posts and landing page content creation
•  Utilizing social media to promote client news/events updating/creating pages for clients, web content revisions for client web sites
•  Editing web site content, uploading videos, often first draft of client work

Does This Sound Like You?
(*Must meet all criteria*) Candidates with previous experience working in related roles in the financial services and technology industry will be given priority. No recent graduates will be considered.

At least 3+ Years previous PR or marketing agency experience (with technology and/or financial services clients)
Bachelor’s Degree in related field (Communications, Marketing, Finance, Business or related field)
You have proven skills of integrating and leveraging social media programs, print and broadcast media to heighten client exposure and visibility
You have a strong knowledge of the financial and technology markets and know the trends, opportunities and challenges that face many of the agency’s clients
You’re a communication guru and have a strong portfolio of writing (creative and strategic) and possess a healthy network of media contacts that have helped garner impressive results
Experience managing multiple client accounts and collaborating with a team of internal resources
Superior, proven written and oral communication skills and an obsession with detail-oriented results
Ability to speak with clients, participate on conference calls and maintain high level of professionalism and maintain confidentiality of client information
Knowledge of WordPress, basic website editing and Hubspot marketing software systems a plus (as is Hubspot certification)

Compensation:
Competitive salary based on commensurate experience, bonus program for smart goal performance, 401 (k) retirement plan with full company match and annual company profit sharing contributions, generous group health care plan options, PTO plus paid company holiday from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, free beer, breakfast and all sorts of goodies at our awesome co-working space in Little Italy, direct deposit, mass-transit/biking incentives.