Where are Financial Journalists Looking for Stories?

With so many different sources available, where do financial journalists prefer to turn for their story inspirations? As it turns out, according to a new Gorkana survey of these journalists released in March, while reporters have many resources for inspiration, they rely most heavily on reading newspapers and other publications for their story ideas.

The results from the survey suggests that when looking for story ideas, financial journalists are likely to first turn to those that are closest to their work – their fellow journalists and their audience members.  More than half (59.5%) of the 350 journalists interviewed said they read newspapers and other publications for inspiration, while 45.5% said their personal interests or the interests of a colleague can lead them to story ideas. Almost a third (32.4%) of reporters said they turn to audience emails and phone calls for ideas.

What does this mean for the companies and communications professionals trying to reach financial journalists? How can we improve our chances that a journalist will consider our news and ideas?

  • Look at the same sources that journalists say they use. For example, if you want to reach the commercial real estate reporter at the Wall Street Journal, read not only their stories, but also articles from Commercial Mortgage Alert and the New York Observer’s commercial section.
  • Find relevant ways to tie current news articles to pitches and story suggestions. A broader piece on retirees moving out of the country can turn into an article focusing on local seniors housing trends.
  • Don’t discount the comments sections – many stories generate robust discussions amongst readers that can lead to new, unexplored points of views and angles.
  • Consider the credibility of sources that you are offering in pitches and online. According to the research conducted by Gorkana, CEOs top the list of credible news sources for financial journalists, followed by academics/experts, financial/industry analysts, and technical experts in companies.

What other suggestions do you have for improving story suggestions and pitches for financial journalists?

The survey of 350 financial journalists was conducted by Gorkana, a global services provider for PR professionals and journalists, in partnership with two DePaul University College of Communications professors: Dr. Matt Ragas and Dr. Hai Tran. Read the full study here.


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