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Reporter Q&A Series: A Quick Chat with Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Canal  

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Abbey ClarkSenior Media Relations Manager

The best part about pitching our diverse client base at PAN is interacting with journalists like Alexandra Canal — currently a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance — covering everything from the latest happenings in Hollywood and celebrity money moves to investments in crypto, The Grammy’s, restaurant re-openings, fast-food ventures and much more. More specifically, Alexandra is focused on what makes investors tick and helping people understand the first steps in securing financial freedom.  

The B2B media landscape is vast. To land a story and create meaningful relationships you have to be purposeful — and creative! We sat down with Alexandra to understand what content grabs her attention, how her reporting has evolved and of course the best way to pitch her and others on her team. 

How do you decide what to focus on each week from a reporting standpoint?

I look at the top trending stories of the day and stay on top of what people are talking about. I also look at recent earnings and larger companies/stocks that can be tickerized, which is what drives our audience interest here at Yahoo Finance. Ultimately, I’m most interested in topics that are layered and allow me to interview multiple sources to get more information and dive deeper. Follow-up pieces to breaking news can also move a particular story forward in the days after it breaks. 

How did your reporting change during COVID-19?

Everyone adjusted to a new normal of Zoom interviews. In a way, access to information is greater now — you don’t need to fly out to a particular location to meet someone in person. The lines of communication have been opened by technology. 

What are some PR/pitch pet peeves?

Please don’t make your pitch too long. Less is more. I only need one or two lines explaining what the segment is about, why it matters and why it’s important to cover. I get so many pitches a day that four to five follow-ups are too much. Additionally, if you’ve never worked with me before — just introduce yourself! I hate when I get pitched by someone I don’t have a relationship with (who addresses the email like we do) especially caught off guard on the phone. Just share why we should work together! 

When is the best time to receive story ideas?

Typically Monday or Tuesday — earlier in the week is better and morning or early afternoon is best. There is a lot of burnout in the industry and in avoidance of feeling burnt out it’s a pretty safe bet that I won’t read pitches after 5 p.m. on a Friday.  

Being on air frequently yourself, tell us: what makes a good or bad on-air interview?

Succinct, short and sweet answers so that a reporter can ask more questions is key. High energy spokespeople that share why they’re excited about what we’re talking about (and conveys this excitement for the audience) also makes for a great interview. 

For more media do’s and don’ts, check out additional reporter Q&As and resources.

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