Behind the scenes at the WSJ’s Corporate Intelligence blog

by
WSJ Corporate Intelligence

Dennis Berman, the marketplace editor of The Wall Street Journal, is looking for the paper’s news staff to contribute more to the Corporate Intelligence blog that it launched in October.

Here is the email he sent out on Wednesday:

The Corporate Intelligence (http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/) blog was launched at the start of October and has already become one of the most popular on WSJ.com.  (Please follow it on Twitter, too, at https://twitter.com/WSJCorpIntel

As our readers’ tastes change, we want to give a fast, smart commentary on the day’s business news, quickly elaborating on breaking stories and drawing on all the knowledge from the WSJ family of reporters.

Our goal is speed – but without creating a whole new set of work for you, the editors and reporters.

To do that we’re going to experiment with a bunch of ways to help our two lead writers, Tom Gara and Joe White, serve the CI readers.

How we do it:

By phone – the quickest option is to have a phone chat with Tom or Joe, who will write up a post based in the format of “We spoke with the WSJ’s {….} and here’s what they had to say….” This will take up the least of your time and let the post get online fastest.

Mail us a tip – Put a few lines / links in a mail, attach any relevant docs or research, and send it through to us, and we’ll turn it around into a post.

Write us a piece – If you have the time to write it yourself, go ahead. Posts can be anything from a couple of paragraphs sharing a colorful detail or a point worth making, to longer pieces of reporting or analysis. We’re flexible.

We’ll call you - We will be reaching out to reporters when we feel there is a post worth doing, so expect to hear from us if something is happening on your beat.

What we are looking for:

Quick takes – If a story is breaking on your turf, or if a breaking story has a connection to your turf, we can get your take online fast, and with as little friction as possible (see above). Especially handy if you want an online placeholder that can be built upon as things develop.

Stock moves  – if a company you cover is up or down significantly (say a 7% or greater move) in trading, and there’s a business reason for it – corporate / industry troubles, a bad demand forecast, move of a key exec, etc – then we want to cover it, quickly and succinctly. A paragraph now can often be worth 1,000 words two hours later.

Expanding on stories – if you have a story out and there is another angle to it, or something more to add that didn’t fit into the original piece, we can handle it.

Data points and charts – Any interesting estimates or figures that make their way to you via analysts, research shops, companies, PR people and so on, can make for quick, snappy blog posts. Often a notable number, like an estimate for timber demand in the Northeast or a chart of changing consumer spending on fast food, is enough to merit a mention somewhere, but not enough to base a story on.

Okay, how is it really done?