Do’s and Don’ts for Engaging with Media on Twitter

Twitter-600x400Twitter wants to be a player in the online video space. The microblogging network on Monday rolled out a new embedded video feature that allows users to place video that originates on Twitter onto their own websites, according to the service's Developer Blog.

For communications professionals, Twitter's value is measured in how well one engages with the media, and the new video embed feature adds another tool to Twitter's growing list of useful features. But, if PR pros have yet to develop the essential chops for how to leverage Twitter in media relations, new features won't make a difference.

With that in mind, here are some dos and don’ts on how to use Twitter for media relations, with a hat tip to Nancy Marshall, CEO of Nancy Marshall Communications.


  • Do first check with someone to find out if they are OK receiving pitches or source information through Twitter.
  • Do get to the point in a pitch and emphasize unique story attributes and the impact on the audience.
  • Do make most wanted media lists for clients and follow those people.
  • Do reply to requests for story sources when they are a fit for a client.
  • Do retweet and comment on tweets from media you have a history of working with and those you would like to know better.


  • Don’t assume that everyone welcomes story pitches by tweet.
  • Don’t generalize when making a pitch or simply say that you have a great story idea.
  • Don’t offer someone as a story source if they can’t reply to media quickly.
  • Don’t be shy about retweeting things that don’t benefit you or a client.
  • Don’t forget to provide contact information when sharing a source with media.

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpjourno1