Joanna Track is the founder and editor in chief of The Bullet, a free newsletter delivered every weekday morning via email. Created for Canadians by Canadians, the biggest news stories of the day are distilled into a conversational tone that makes it feel like you're hearing from a well-informed friend.
How do you decide what to cover? How much of that is determined by social media?
Social media is key to how we decide what content to cover. We’re constantly monitoring trends online - news websites, and social media channels, as well lots of alerts from our phone apps! We are constantly taking the pulse on what people are talking about. What are the top stories across the web, with an eye to Canada vs. US vs. the rest of the world. What are people sharing? What are they searching for?
What does a typical day look like for you and your team?
We’re always monitoring headlines and trending news stories (I have the TV running in the background of my office all day), but we really start to get down to work in the afternoon/early evening. By that time of day, we have a lot more details on the day’s top news stories and can start formulating our emails. We usually work in shifts, so one of the writers is assigned to the evening for the initial draft. When that’s ready, I will edit it and provide feedback. Then Samantha (my editor) is usually up late to monitor any late-night news stories and input as needed. Finally, I take the last look in the (early) morning before the email goes out. The last look is to make sure that everything is on brand, and that we haven’t missed any overnight or early morning breaking news.
What kind of relationships do you have with brands, PR and marketing professionals?
Brands and PR are key partners for us. It benefits our audience to see brands that resonate with them, or fit in with their values and lifestyle. It doesn’t benefit the brand or our subscribers to see ads for items they aren’t interested in. We try to really get to know our audience and work with brands that they already purchase or would be interested in trying. In addition to working with brands on customized content sponsorship, we’re establishing a monthly contest to thank our dedicated subscriber base, as well as daily promo codes to give our audience discounts at some of the coolest retailers in the country.
What’s your number one tip for PR people?
Know who you’re pitching! Even if you’re not a regular reader, do a little research before you pitch to make sure that what you’re suggesting even has a chance of being a fit. Writers and editors get so many news releases and emails— don’t bother sending them something that would never work for their outlet. It saves everyone time and effort.
First website you load in the morning...
Right now that’s CNN! But hopefully after the election we can get more focused on Canada. I typically flip between CNN/BBC/CBC/Globe, as well as all my social media channels to see what’s new and trending in the morning.