Guest post by Jessica Lawlor
Ready to take your engagement on Twitter to the next level in 2013?
By now, we all know how important Twitter is as a tool for both journalists and communication professionals. From the PR side, Twitter is an incredible resource to engage with journalists one-on-one, build relationships and position yourself (or your client) as a news source.
At its core, Twitter is very simple. It’s all about sharing content. One of the easiest ways to share content is through Twitter’s retweet function, which the Twitter help page describes as a “re-posting of someone else’s tweet.”
There are three main ways to retweet on Twitter:
1. Native RT. A native RT is Twitter’s current default option. As you scroll through Twitter and see a tweet you’d like to share, simply click the Retweet button and the message will automatically appear on your Twitter feed with the RT icon. Users are NOT able to edit tweets when they choose to use a Native RT and these tweets are able to be tracked by Twitter. Using a Native RT is a great way to share a reporter’s content and to get your name on their radar.
2. Old Style RT. Before Twitter developed it’s current RT option, users had the ability to edit and modify tweets before sharing them with their followers. The great part about an Old Style RT is that it allows users the chance to add a bit of commentary before the RT to further engage. For example, if a reporter shares a story they’ve written on Twitter, a PR professional can add their own personal touch to the tweet by saying something like “Good read” or “Great story!” This not only gets your name on their radar, but also personally engages with the reporter with something a bit more memorable than simply sharing their tweet.
3. MT. MT stands for “modified tweet.” Use MT when you’d like to retweet someone, but their tweet goes over the allotted 140 characters, so you need to edit their tweet slightly. MT is especially important when working with journalists on Twitter- even a small change in the language of a tweet can change its context, so if you need to tweak a tweet, be sure to let your followers know.
So which approach is most effective?
I’m partial to the Old Style RT for the following reasons:
Be sure to keep in mind that the style of a RT differs depending on what platform and device you choose to use. For example, the Hootsuite iPhone app asks users if they’d prefer to use an Old Style RT, but Hootsuite for the web automatically formats tweets in the Old Style format. Whatever platform you prefer, be sure to research your RT options to ensure that you’re using the format that best helps you reach your Twitter goals.
Which retweet approach do you think is most effective? Be sure to share in the comments section below.
Download the full interview here!
Muck Rack’s Natan Edelsburg recently interviewed UPS’s Natalie Black to discuss her experiences using Muck Rack Pro, which she described as an instrumental tool in helping her “demonstrate the value of social channels for the PR practice.”
Here’s a taste of Natalie’s comments:
“Because of the social channels, because of constant connectivity and access to content, PR is no longer about media relations. PR is about relationships.”
“Muck Rack is an awesome service. […] I help everyone develop media lists based on their segment and focus, and use the alerts to help them understand the conversation and engagement out there.”
“Muck Rack puts the journalists front-line and center. The service allows you to monitor the dialogue out there. Then, you can pitch if need be, because you now have that in-depth knowledge of the journalist’s beat.”
I recently had drinks with a friend of mine who was the CTO of a hot venture-backed company that went on to be acquired by a large silicon valley company. One of the beautiful things about being a CTO is you don’t have to worry about marketing strategy and execution, and his old company had lots of PR-savvy talent.
He’s now striking out on his own with a very cool product that he’s building as a solo entrepreneur, so for the first time he’s doing his own PR. In true lean startup fashion, he smartly did lots of user testing and even brought in a professional facilitator. In the process they discovered the people who were drawn to his product the most are female professionals age 20-35. This insight should help him immensely in targeting his marketing.
He asked me which publications and blogs this demographic reads. Being (only arguably professional) guys, neither of us had any idea. I said why don’t you just ask female professionals age 20-35 what they read? It seems so obvious in retrospect — but he admitted he and his facilitator never once thought to ask during all the user testing what people read.
Lesson learned: During user testing, ask subjects what they read, follow and watch.
Even better, ask prospective users and customers for their:
Once you’ve made a list of the target publications and blogs your prospective users and customers reads, figure out which journalists you should contact using Muck Rack’s free directory of publications, or even better use Muck Rack’s Advance Journalist Search (requires pro subscription) and filter by publication.
For example, let’s say we made a new travel guide iPhone app and used the above methods to determine our target customers read Fast Company, Vanity Fair and Vogue the most. We could run a search like this to figure out which journalists at those publications tweet and write stories the most about travel guides:
Once you’ve found the right journalists, add them to your media list and determine the best way to reach out, which we’ll cover in future blog posts. Like us on Facebook and make a free Muck Rack account to be notified when we do.
This past Tuesday, Muck Rack’s Cofounder & CEO Greg Galant and Vice President Natan Edelsburg hosted #MuckedUp Atlanta with Cox Media Group and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to talk about journalism in the age of social media with journalists, PR pros and news junkies.
Here’s our Storify from the event:
Muck Rack’s Natan Edelsburg recently interviewed Flashpoint PR’s Co-Founder Christopher Downing to discuss his experiences using Muck Rack Pro,which he described as an invaluable tool for discovering new journalists talking about clients or competitors.
Here’s a taste of Christopher’s comments:
“PR needs to tell a story. Today, with social media stealing the spotlight, citizen journalists breaking the news and the number of print publications constantly on the decline, PR has to be more creative and resourceful than ever in delivering stories to a mass audience. Our overarching goal is to really learn each client’s business, inside and out so we can help uncover those insights that become the stories that the media loves. “
“Muck Rack has already come to the rescue on a variety of fronts for us. Because we’re always looking to see where stories have landed, particularly those stories we’ve placed, we’ve had a few instances where a Google alert or Google search did not return a result but we found the article retweeted by a reporter on Muck Rack.”
“Our entire office looks at Muck Rack Daily every morning as a great snapshot of media activity, scanning for reporters of particular relevance to current campaigns and clients and just as a good basis of what’s going on in the news and another indication of what newsrooms will be working on for that day/week.”
You can download a complimentary copy of the full case study here.