Every now and then you come across a Twitter profile that states, “Retweets aren’t endorsements and views are my own” but what they forgot to mention was, “Send me a tweet instead of email.” People are always trying to give tips and tricks of PR pitching but maybe one of the greatest tricks of all is utilizing every form of contact. Reporters are bombarded daily with lengthy emails and can’t always get to every single one, so what about a quick 140 character tweet?
I’m sure you ask questions on Twitter and Facebook, asking simple questions like “what book should I read this summer” or “best beaches to visit..go!”. We use social media to communicate to our friends, give our thoughts or ask for opinions. How about utilizing social media to pitch your client? It’s clear the traditional days of PR pitching have shifted because emails aren’t always responded to and voicemails aren’t always answered.
It’s no secret reporters like when you take the time to read their articles and understand the topics they write about. With social media, I think you can take it one step further. A person’s Twitter page can reveal a lot about someone. From topics they’re interested in and announcements of a new position to an out of office because of a vacation. If I’m having a hard time finding the right reporter for a topic, I’ll search on Twitter to see who would be appropriate.
So why read what they’re tweeting? Just like you, they’ll utilize social media to answer question or give an opinion, which can benefit you in the long run. A reporter’s newsfeed features their latest story that may be of interest to you or they could be asking for a source. There have been several occasions where a reporter turned to Twitter to find a source for a story. A great example is, a technology reporter tweeted that she needed to talk to a lawyer. It was simple, could have been missed but I saw it. Immediately I tweeted her back letting her know one of our clients was a law firm and if she needed a lawyer for a source I could be that point of contact. Minutes later the simple tweet turned into me sending the reporter contact information for our client to discuss the Tinder lawsuit and the legal employment issues around it. The story resulted in a lengthy article featured on TechCrunch.com.
Another reporter mentioned how he was accepting pitches with Twitter’s direct message. I thought, why not give this a chance? I sent the reporter a few quick notes about a new platform to gauge his interest and now he’s interested in having a longer conversation about our client. It was challenging to only send a few sentences about a client but it allowed me to get straight to the point (which is exactly what the reporter wanted in the first place).
The next time you feel stuck maybe a little let down that a reporter hasn’t answered you back just remember to get creative and utilize every form of communication. I’m not saying be a crazy needy girlfriend but there’s a way to make it simple and effective. Your next tweet can lead to your next story.