Profile: Jeremy Owens, Marketwatch

Sometimes overlooked in the galaxy of Dow Jones edit properties is Marketwatch, and it shouldn’t be. The 21-year-old title employs roughly 50 journalists focused on markets and companies. The tech beat is covered by three reporters and a veteran columnist under the direction of technology editor Jeremy Owens.

“We’re interested in the bigger picture,” Jeremy told us in this 14-minute audio interview.

The Marketwatch tech team:

Jeremy Owens: technology editor and SF bureau chief. He writes a lot of earnings stories and steers the ship.

Max Cherney: tech reporter (SF). He writes about both public and private companies, and recommends that we follow his Twitter feed.

Wallace Witkowski: editor, markets/US equities.

Therese Poletti: columnist (SF). She’s been writing about tech for 35 years so there’s not much you can tell her, but you could introduce her to an up-and-comer whom she doesn’t know.

Emily Bary: tech reporter (NY). Covers hardware, payments and “the robust e-sig industry.”

Says Jeremy: “We’re into ‘Here’s what's growing and here are the companies growing with it.’ We’ve been into quantum computing… and AI and machine learning for the past couple of years, especially with Nvidia… we’re also going hard on corporate governance, and experts in governance and corporate finance will always be really important to us.”

That’s one specific pitch opp for you. There are others, but you’ll have to read the site first. Here’s why.

Jeremy tells the story of Zuora, a vendor in the subscription services business. Under Jeremy’s watch, Marketwatch began studying trends in revenue recognition, i.e. should a SaaS software company immediately recognize three years’ worth of revenue in a three-year contract, or trickle the recognition over time? What does the law say? Technically speaking, what tools and procedures allow the recognition to be spread out?

Recalls Jeremy:

So we were writing a lot about [revenue recognition] and [Zuora] saw that, so they reached out and said ‘Hey we saw you’ve been writing about that, and we help companies do that, so if you’re paying attention to that, you should talk to us about it.’ And that’s the kind of pitch that can be very helpful… as opposed to, you know, ‘we’ve got this CEO and we want him to talk to people.'

This was doubly advantageous for Marketwatch, Jeremy explained, because he was able to build a relationship with Zuora. Marketwatch was there for Zuora before all the fair-weather friends arrived to cover its IPO.

Likewise for PR, Jeremy says, being able to build a relationship with him is “huge.” How do you do that?

You just finished reading about one way:

(a) read where Marketwatch seems to be going -- really read
(b) assess whether there’s a fit with client agendas, and
(c) get in touch.

Jeremy says he’s happy to answer directional questions from PR (i.e. “Do you have a reporter in NYC or are they all in SF?”) — anything that reveals genuine curiosity in Jeremy’s mission and whether you can help him accomplish it.
Perhaps an easier way is to follow Jeremy’s Tweet stream, which he attends to closely. He’s definitely got an animated, fun personality and is free from the “flacks suck” syndrome afflicting all too many journalists.

Kicking off a pitch by mentioning one of his Tweets “does show that you’ve done at least a minimal amount of research,” Jeremy says. “Sometimes it’s a little bit laughable because I can tell how far down someone read.” In other words, don’t just mention the Tweet he sent out an hour earlier because it might be just an outlier, not representative of what he truly cares about. Read a few dozen Tweets at least, and you’ll get the context you’re seeking.

Says Jeremy: ”I get so many emails a day, I couldn’t even tell you… so the ability to grab my eye is something big.”

Reach Jeremy at jowens at marketwatch dot com.

Journalists are leaving media brands every week. Read the fruits of 16 confidential interviews with journalists now working at tech brands or PR agencies, and five interviews with the executives who hired these journalists.
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