Joining us this week on the podcast is Alcynna Lloyd, an economy reporter at Insider. Alcynna writes stories on the economy pertaining to housing and real estate. Prior to joining Business Insider, she was the Digital Media Manager at HousingWire.
During the episode, Alcynna shares the types of pitches that grab her attention, her requirements for an embargo, how economists are landing in her inbox, and more.
Click below to listen to the full conversation and read below for highlights from the interview:
[00:02:04] BB: Yes. Tell us first, before we get into your inbox, what does the economy reporter focus in on? You go into a little bit on your LinkedIn and Twitter and so forth. But for everyone to know, what does that entail?
[00:02:16] AL: Well, my beat specifically for the economy team is focusing on real estate and housing in the rental market. I basically talk about how affordability impacts consumers, or how the market is changing and how it will go on to affect consumers in the long run.
[00:02:29] BB: I’m sure you’re busy then right now.
“Well, my beat specifically for the economy team is focusing on real estate and housing in the rental market.”
[00:02:31] AL: Yes. Very busy right now.
[00:02:32] BB: Yeah, I would bet. And you came from HousingWire. So that makes perfect sense that you’re deep in the trenches of real estate. Were you always interested in real estate? Or was this kind of how you got into it and here you are? Or what would you say?
[00:02:42] AL: I kind of stumbled into it. I actually graduated with a broadcast degree. Yeah, and I interned a bit at CBS. And I covered local news. But after that, I kind of wanted to change something different. And HousingWire actually popped up on LinkedIn and I decided to go ahead and apply. And it worked out. I loved working there. I was there for four years.
Her Thoughts on Pitches
[00:03:00] BB: Okay, now, about your inbox. We always get into it here. And it can be a contentious issue and talk about all the pitches that are there or not there. How busy is your inbox?
[00:03:11] AL: Oh, okay. See, if I close my inbox on Friday and open it on Monday, I’ll have 300 to 400 emails?
“If they’re going to add a source, I usually like to see the source at the bottom. I like to see the data that’s going to be displayed or shared with me first. And then that draws my attention in.”
[00:03:18] BB: Really?
[00:03:19] AL: Yes, yeah.
[00:03:21] BB: And is it newsletters? Is it pitches in the weekend? What’s all entailed in there?
[00:03:25] AL: It’s all sorts of things. Sometimes I get commentary back from readers. A lot of the times it’s pitches from different researching publications. Or I’ll get embargoed stories coming in as well. Or sometimes it’s just people pitching to let me know that they have a source that I could work with probably.
[00:03:38] BB: And do you like those source emails?
“Usually, the ones that I really like, they’ll start addressing my name. I’m more likely to pay attention to my name, and if it’s correct.”
[00:03:40] AL: I like those source emails if they come with data.
[00:03:43] BB: Yeah, okay. Clear distinction.
[00:03:45] AL: Yeah. If it’s pertaining to a topic that I’m currently covering, I’m more likely to open it versus if it’s just, “Hey, you should meet so-and-so.”
Her Thoughts on Exclusives & Embargoes
[00:07:46] BB: Got you. Okay. This is all excellent. Now, exclusives or embargoes, are any of interest ever to you?
[00:07:52] AL: Yes, definitely. I love – When I get embargoes, it’s always nice to see information or data before other teams get access to it as well. With embargoes, the data or the information inside the email has to be something that’s interesting. Not something that I could like find somewhere else.
“With embargoes, the data or the information inside the email has to be something that’s interesting. Not something that I could like find somewhere else.”
[00:08:06] BB: And for that, since especially there’s such a data focus for you, this needs to be unique data from a research group, from a startup that has an unbelievable data set that no one else has. Do you ever have agencies, like federal agencies, state agencies email you things?
[00:08:21] AL: No, not necessarily. I’m signed up for their stuff. But they don’t typically send over –
[00:08:25] BB: I was going to say, the government doesn’t do pitching really. Okay.
How to Build a Relationship with Her
[00:09:01] BB: Building relationships with you, Alcynna, just in this day and age. And you’re in Texas, for example, not, let’s say, New York City where it’s maybe a density of journalists that we know sometimes are there. How do people build a relationship with you these days?
[00:09:18] AL: I found, especially since I started working in Insider, the best way to build a relationship is just consistent conversation. I have a few economists that send me over information time to time. And we keep all of our conversations in the same email so it does feel like a continuous conversation. It’s not just, “Hey, I’m sending you this new thing and starting a brand-new conversation.” We just continue to build on the topics that we have been discussing previously. Plus, adding new additional information. It feels more like you’re having a conversation with somebody you know or a colleague, versus speaking to somebody I have no context for, I guess.
“I found, especially since I started working in Insider, the best way to build a relationship is just consistent conversation.”
[00:09:49] BB: And if someone wants to kind of like broach that relationship with you, is it just an easy like, “Do you want a DM? Do you want an email?” Can you elaborate from here?
[00:09:57] AL: Yeah, yeah. I prefer an email. Just a mail being like, “Hey, here’s this information. I work with this –”
[00:10:02] BB: Have clients that are these. Yeah.
[00:10:03] AL: Yeah. And I’ll reach back out to you again. And so, that’s how I typically –
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