I had lunch with a former news anchor from FOX last week and was fascinated to hear about how the traditional newsroom is being transformed. I’ve been sharing for years the power of combining media pitching with social media and building relationships with the media through platforms like Twitter. I’ve told you journalists know who is sharing their work and engaging with them. That edge makes you more of a warm lead when you pitch a story to them. What I didn’t know is how powerful social media is in gauging what the media covers.

In this particular newsroom, there are white boards set up to show engagement numbers of all the anchors. How many followers do they have? Who is liking their posts? Who is engaging. What stories are “hot?” The powers that be behind the scenes at the newsroom are using social media numbers to determine what gets on the air during their coveted news slot.

The anchors are being encouraged to go live before their newscasts and engage with their followers. They are directing their audience to their social media platforms while on the air. We often hear them say, “Check out more on this story on my Facebook Page.” “Tweet me what you think about this.” Now is the time to connect, engage, and build relationships with the media through social platforms. “Like” their business page (do not friend request them on their personal one) and follow them on Twitter.

My partner in Get Seen Be Heard, Karen Yankovich, recommends that we create Twitter lists of media people so we can just pop in on that list once a day or a few times a week to engage with our core journalists. This makes it so easy to get in front of them.

This information also shows the value of strong social media platforms because if the media is looking for a story or an expert and you have a large following, that now benefits them more than ever. If you can share their story with your big audience, you are helping them grow their audience and their following and might help get more people to tune in live.

Karen and I are always on the cutting edge of these techniques. We’ve been teaching this for years and now the newsrooms are actually implementing it in their everyday practices.

We are re-launching our SMPR course (Social Media and PR) in March. Get on the waitlist and get early bird information here, www.SocialMediaandPR.com. Get a jump start on your competition by learning techniques such as this from us.

To Your PR Success!!!