8 Do’s and Don’ts for Connecting With Journalists on Social Media

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Social media provides a great opportunity to connect directly with journalists, who often turn to platforms like Twitter to find sources, track breaking stories and promote their work.

It’s also a nifty way to make your pitches rise above the fray. Since most journalists receive dozens of pitches every day via more traditional methods like email and phone, establishing a relationship and starting the conversation on social media can prove to be an effective inroad.

So, how can you use social media get your content in front of journalists and make sure they keep your brand top of mind? As part of her article in the PR News Media Training Guidebook, Michelle LeBlanc, social media strategist with Industrium, offered up this quick checklist of do’s and don’ts.

Do

Keep up with your media list. Use Twitter lists to track your top journalist’s recent posts and see topics they’ve been interested in lately.

Mention a related social post in your email pitch. Journalists appreciate a unique, personalized approach that shows you are paying attention and thinking critically about your subject.

Show value. Share relevant content from your industry. Promote someone with interesting views, but a smaller audience. Create unique opportunities exclusively for your social media audience.

Expand your horizons. Track influencers from adjacent or similar industries. Great inspiration often can be found just outside of your current social sphere.

Don’t

Insert yourself into every conversation. If a breaking story is unfolding on social media, this is not the time to bring up your latest white paper.

Automate your account to cross-post from your blog or Facebook brand page. If you’re going to participate on a social channel, respect the unique language of that channel.

Use a hashtag without knowing the origin. Trending hashtags are great...if they’re relevant and on-brand. Most of the time, you’d be better off speaking to a niche audience, rather than broadcasting to the world.

Send the same message over and over. Tailor each message or mention to uniquely suit the individual you want to reach.

Connect with Michelle: @LeBlancly

Connect with Jerry:@Jascierto