What’s the secret to grabbing the attention of a reporter at The Wall Street Journal? For the answer, I went straight to the source. I spoke with Gordon Deal, host of The Wall Street Journal This Morning, a syndicated business and news show that’s broadcast on 200 radio stations around the U.S.
Deal says he looks for three specific elements in an e-mail pitch.
1. The pitch has to be unique. “You have to think, ‘Is our story going to improve the life or business of someone else? How unique and relevant is it?’ That’s the filter I would ask someone to put themselves through when looking for a media hit.”
2. The pitch has to be concise. “We all get so many e-mails that we’re tired of reading them. The subject line is your ticket in. It’s got to capture the idea and the readers’ interest in just that handful of words. If I get so far as to open the e-mail, the final selling point has to be those first two lines because, chances are, I’m not going to get to that second or third paragraph. The sooner you can make your point, the better. Use the subject line to open door, and the first two or three sentences to kick the door open and get invited in.”
3. The pitch has to be timely. “We’re looking for people to provide relevance. Look at current trends. I do a small-business podcast. Maybe you have a great marketing idea, or a different kind of lending and financing deal, or a unique take on hiring people from a large pool of candidates we have in this economy.”
If you want to pitch your small business story to Gordon Deal, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His programs are available at http://www.wsjthis morning.com. Listen to the small business podcast at http://www.wsj.com/smallbusiness.
Please let me know about your success stories. I’d love to share them in a future post.