There’s a fine line between being bothersome and being effective on social media. PR professionals walk this line every day when they try to pitch stories and reach out to journalists. Muck Rack spoke with PR professionals about their best practices on Twitter and social media, here’s what they had to say.
"Connecting on social media is just like sending out a release. You want to be specific and targeted. Make sure you’ve done your research and you know who you’re pitching, and that what you’re sending is relevant with an interesting spin. A lot of celebrities and reporters manage their own Twitter, so it’s one of the best ways to communicate with hard-to-reach people today. Look for someone who’s an active Tweeter.”
“The most important thing about social media is to get engaged and remain engaged even before you have a need. Establishing a relationship with targeted media sources and journalists is easier than ever. Showing sincere interest in what they cover on a daily basis will help you become familiar with their style and it will help them become familiar with you in general.”
“In a niche PR Agency, social media has become one of my most sacred tools. I would estimate about 50% of my business is a direct result of social media and being active on it…We pitch stories to trade press, but because of our social media presence they are mostly already following our news or blog. By narrowing down our focus on social media to only jewelry-industry related topics, we have been able to build a referral-based business.”
“With social media, when you are an organization trying to provide value, understanding that reporters use Twitter as a medium in which to connect with each other and their friends, and using that with the people that support them is primary. I find Twitter is the most open forum, it offers you a limited way to contact journalists that’s not overbearing. I think unless they’ve invited it, Facebook is a bubble that shouldn’t be popped.”
“Social media, and specifically Twitter, is a great way to connect and build relationships with reporters. By following individual reporters, you can learn about what they are interested in and see the kinds of stories that they are already covering. Since Twitter is limited to 140 characters, I find that I use Twitter more to follow-up with reporters rather than pitching them directly on Twitter. I’ve also had success responding to queries posted by reporters on Twitter.”
"Even if you’re pitching on a social media platform other than Twitter, it’s still important to keep your pitch brief. Journalists, business owners, and other media types are busy people, so you need to get to your point quickly. Make sure your pitch is grammatically correct, or you’ll instantly lose credibility. Boost your activity on your social media accounts before pitching so the recipient can view your profiles and know that you’re a credible professional.”