The Business of Health, Now Online

Aug 01, 2002

It's true that a PR pro's work is never done, but the Wall Street Journal is helping to make it easier. Agency execs can get a sneak peek at the next day's coverage by logging onto the newspaper's new online health-specific portal, Health Industry Edition, the night before.

It features stories from that day's print edition and breaking news from more than 30 WSJ and Dow Jones Newswire healthcare reporters. The site also offers medical reporter Michael Waldholz's web-exclusive column, "Waldholz on Health," as well as "The Daily Scan," which provides summaries of and links to relevant stories in newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and other websites.

"The Daily Scan" is a potential outlet for an extra pick-up of placed stories, so PR people should take note. After all, with more than 640,000 customers, WSJ. com is the largest subscription-based news site on the web. Access to the health industry edition is part of the regular online package, and subscribers can personalize it as their home page.

However, there's no need to update the contacts list; pitching is as usual.

"Most of the reporting is done through the Journal or through the Dow Jones Newswire," says Neil Budde, publisher of the Journal's online edition. "So it makes sense to talk to those reporters and editors about potential story ideas. We have a few exclusively online folks, but we're not adding anybody in health right now."

Budde says the company developed the industry-specific portal to grow WSJ.com's subscriber base. He thinks advertisers will be companies that want to connect with the health portal's key audience of medical benefit managers, physicians, pharma, and other industry executives.