Reaching Out to Journalists via Twitter
There are many different ways to engage with the media. From pitching ideas to building online relationships, the list goes on and on. A majority of journalists and media representatives are on social media. This allows you to connect with them directly on platforms such as Twitter.
Before you send a message to a journalist on Twitter, read these tips:
1. Complete Your Profile
What’s the first thing that a journalist is going to do when they receive a message from you on Twitter? They’re going to visit your profile. Make sure it looks exactly like you want and need it to look. Have you contact info, professional profile, and additional relevant information filled out.
2. Establish a Pattern of Excellence
Before reaching out, have an established history of publishing interesting and relevant industry content. You don’t need to have millions of Twitter followers. You do need to have proven a pattern of publishing quality content on Twitter and engaging in relevant industry discussions.
3. Follow Them First
Before you reach out to a journalist on Twitter, or any other social site, make sure that you’ve been following them for a while. Know who their audience is, the topics that they prefer to cover, and the type of stories they write. Know what they’re interested in and how you can grab their attention with a story idea.
4. Build a Relationship
One way to make sure your Twitter pitch is paid attention to is to make sure the journalist knows who you are. You can facilitate this relationship by retweeting their posts, by commenting, and engaging. You can also tweet their stories and tag them.
5. Personalize Your Pitch
When you have a story idea that you want to pitch to a journalist, personalize it for them. This is where your research and engagement will come in handy. You will have experiences to connect with them and make your pitch personal.
6. DM or Tweet?
There are a few ways that you can reach out to journalists via Twitter. One is to send them a direct message or DM. The other is to tweet them. It’s a good idea to get to know your chosen media rep before you make a decision. If you tweet, which is very public, make sure that you keep your pitch short and sweet. You don’t want to send 500 words via Twitter. If you choose the DM approach, which is a little more private, then it’s still important to be succinct, but you don’t have to keep your pitch to a sentence or two. You can write a short paragraph with your story idea. Leverage social media, and Twitter particularly, to find, engage with, and connect to journalists in your industry. Pitch great ideas and pitch them with pride and professionalism.
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