Wall Street Journal builds relationships with students, drives future growth

By Jodi Harrison

The Wall Street Journal

New York, United States

At Dow Jones, our mission is to provide the world’s most trusted journalism, data, and analysis to help people make decisions. Our brands are one-of-a-kind, and we strive to bring unique content, products, and services to our customers.

In 2015, in an effort to accelerate our digital subscriber growth, we shifted our focus and began thinking about everything we did through the eyes of the customer. We moved to a membership model that allowed us to create unique and distinctive experiences — from developing our dynamic paywall to launching our loyalty and event programmes.

We continued this approach in 2017 as we formed our student membership programme. This is designed to provide partnering universities, their students, and faculty with access to The Wall Street Journal.

The partnership with higher education institutions is intended to meet students where they are so that they are more likely to become subscribers upon graduation.
The partnership with higher education institutions is intended to meet students where they are so that they are more likely to become subscribers upon graduation.

The Wall Street Journal is an essential source of trusted journalism at every stage of life. We quickly recognised the value in acquiring audiences at a younger age to build lifetime relationships with our brands. The student membership programme is often a student’s first introduction to The Wall Street Journal.

Our goal through this programme is to showcase how students can leverage the content and services WSJ provides to prepare for and grow in their careers. We know from our research that students who regularly engage with WSJ and its suite of products are more likely to convert to individual subscribers after graduating.

Our student membership programme provides universities with an unrivalled suite of digital products, benefit programmes, classroom tools, and on-campus experiences, which make it an integral learning resource for students, faculty, and staff. From small to large and public to private, we work with universities to offer a customised engagement plan, providing all the tools needed to get the most out of the partnership.

How it works

Students enrolled in a college or university that sign up for our student membership programme can activate their membership, personalise their preferences on the WSJ app, and receive article and content suggestions based on previously read articles. Students can explore WSJ’s wide range of multi-media content offerings, including videos and podcasts, to consume news in a way that suits their interests.

The perfect complement to the academic articles students normally engage with, The Wall Street Journal offers content created with younger audiences in mind. This helps students better understand the world through the lens of business, finance, and economics.

Notable programmes include:

WSJ Jobs Summit

Six months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, we recognised the overwhelming need for honest and actionable advice on how to navigate the new job landscape. In September 2020, the Journal launched the WSJ Jobs Summit, a complimentary, full-day event targeting job seekers in varying stages of their careers. From newly minted college graduates to mid-career changers, the Jobs Summit offers attendees practical and service-oriented guidance from pioneering business leaders across industries.

The Wall Street Journal hosted two more complimentary Jobs Summit events in 2021, where more than 3,500 students and recent graduates received insight and advice to help them with their job searches.

As the job market returns, with a record number of openings, the next WSJ Jobs Summit, taking place on April 12, 2022, will deliver expert advice and trusted insights on how to turn today’s job market into a competitive advantage.

Student Editor Summits

As part of The Wall Street Journal’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of editors and journalists, students studying journalism are invited to join WSJ’s Student Editor Summits, where they can learn about the different aspects of journalism and possible career paths. The Student Editor Summit is open, at no cost, to students from across the country in an expanded digital format. Students have the opportunity to hear from WSJ journalists in a student-only setting, during which they are able to ask questions via a live Q&A session and join in peer-to-peer networking.

The Student Editor Summit invites journalism students to learn from WSJ journalists.
The Student Editor Summit invites journalism students to learn from WSJ journalists.

What’s next

In the year ahead, our priority for the student membership programme is to engage with more community colleges to further The Wall Street Journal’s scale and reach. According to internal research, 34% of total U.S. undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges. Accessibility to this market is very important to us. At Dow Jones, we believe our content is most valuable in the hands of our audiences. To help the world’s decision-makers, we need to be accessible wherever they are.

Our student programme at The Wall Street Journal is the largest it’s ever been. Building impactful relationships with students and those early on in their careers will help to create lifetime connections for our business. By providing students with trusted news and information from The Wall Street Journal, we are fostering a future of informed and passionate leaders — whatever their major.

About Jodi Harrison

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