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Mar 29, 2002

PROFILE: How to Reach BusinessWeek's Online Marketing Editor

SUMMARY: If you see a story about Internet marketing, advertising or the whole free-to-paid content business model in BusinessWeek, then you can bet the magazine's Staff Editor Jeanette Brown had a great deal to do with it. Want Brown to include your company in her coverage? Find out how in our exclusive profile.
Profile # 18 in Our Continuing Series on Marketing Journalists

Jeanette Brown
Staff Editor, Online Marketing
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
PH: 212.512.3556

-> Circulation as of 3/02:

950,000 in the US. Readers pay $4.95 at the newsstand or $59.95 for an annual subscription.

-> Brown’s background:

Initially Brown preferred writing about science and technology. While at the NYU School of Journalism, she held internships at both Astronomy magazine and Oceanographic magazine. Then she landed an internship at BusinessWeek for a year as a science and technology writer.

The business angle of tech intrigued her, so as soon as she graduated from J school in May 2000, Brown called up her former supervisor at BusinessWeek in hopes of full-time position covering IT. She got the job, but, beats change, and a few months later Brown was asked to cover Internet marketing instead.

Brown says, “I had been covering general Internet issues and technologies and was always interested in online marketing. Now I really like to focus on the hurdles that still exist for online ad companies and the industry as a whole. There are some very interesting opportunities out there and I enjoy watching it unfold.”

-> Current editorial coverage:

While BusinessWeek covers a broad spectrum of advertising and marketing topics, Brown's specific beat is covering news and analysis of the online marketing industry. She frequently writes about how specific companies are marketing online (particularly if they are public companies that the investment community is interested in). Brown also looks for trend stories, developing online ad formats and standards, the paid subscription versus advertising business model battle.

“I like to look at what advertisers are doing online,” Brown says. “I find that traditional advertisers are still slow to look at the Internet as part of their [overall] spending and I try to understand why.”

If you are a technology vendor, you can try to pitch Brown but she does not cover specific technologies much. Instead she prefers to write company profiles such as one she recently completed on DoubleClick where she described how the company positioned itself to win during the overall consolidation in the online ad space.

You can find an editorial calendar of special coverage scheduled for the print edition of BusinessWeek at, however be
forewarned few advertising or marketing-specific stories are listed on it.

-> What Brown looks for in a story pitch:

To put it in her words: “If you are going to pitch me I look for someone who has a sense of what companies would fit into a larger story or what companies our readers would like to hear about.” These readers are “senior managers and leading decision-makers, highly-educated and highly affluent, and employed in top management positions across all industries.”

Brown also says that she is “always impressed when [PR] people recognize what I am going to need to follow a story. They will do the work for me by having analysts, company contacts, and any other sources I need. It does happen.”

As for contacting her do not bother sending a fax, she says she will never get it. Email is the best. According to Brown “I have more time to digest email and if you call me on the phone you won’t always get my attention.”

-> Deadlines:

BusinessWeek goes to press on Wednesday nights so do not try to contact Brown then or any time close to that deadline. Your best bet is to contact her on a Thursday or even a Friday, except 9:30-10:30 A.M. on Fridays when the editorial staff has a regular meeting.

-> Submitting pre-written contributions:

Do not bother. BusinessWeek just doesn’t take them.

-> Becoming a regular columnist:

Again, do not bother. BusinessWeek is largely written and edited by its staff.

-> Where you can meet Brown:

She rarely leaves her desk, even for lunch. That said, there are a few times Brown gets out. In fact, “as long as it does not cut into deadlines” you may see her at any of the Jupiter forums, @d:tech, and other major Internet marketing events.

If you really want to meet her, Brown says to set up a breakfast meeting or even dinner.

-> Best gifts for Brown:

General policy is anything under $50, but Brown would “prefer a good lead” over a tchochkie any day. Again, breakfast also works well.

-> Brown’s favorite business publications:

Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Adweek (online) and AdAge (online).
See Also:

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