A New York Times journalist told me I had just given away the biggest secret for connecting with journalists when I told a group I was speaking to, to find journalists on Twitter. I’ve been doing it for years but now I’m sharing this trick with you.
Journalists are all over Twitter. Check out Muck Rack, www.MuckRack.com and sign up for the Muck Rack Daily so you can see what’s trending on Twitter and who is writing about it. Connect with those journalists. See a topic you are knowledgeable about? Then comment on a journalist’s work. Share it with your audience.
Most people haven’t figured this out yet. There are Today Show producers with only 300 followers. And guess what, they often follow you back. Especially when you engage with them. Remember, these are journalists looking for story ideas, experts, and sources. They need YOU.
That New York Times journalist I mentioned told me they know who is paying attention to their work. They know who is “showing them love” and sharing their work. When I reply to a journalist’s tweet, it is often favorited by them. The more you do this, the more they will begin to recognize you.
Why does that matter? Guess what happens when you subsequently pitch that journalist a story idea? They are probably going to recognize you and remember that you have been paying attention to their work and have been good to them by sharing it. It means you probably know what they write or report about and likely your pitch is going to be something they will cover. If nothing else, odds are the journalist will at least take a look at what you sent over. And they’ll probably respond to you one way or another. “Great idea!” “It’s not quite what I cover.” Or, “I’ll keep it on file for a future story.”
If you’ve been following me, you know that I am a huge proponent of building relationships with people. By connecting with journalists on Twitter, you are creating a foundation for that relationship. It is so easy to find journalists and follow them and see what they’re writing about. There is no excuse not to start connecting and start building relationships with anyone you want in the media.
Let me know how it goes for you and any success you’ve already had!
To Your PR Success,
FINALLY! A way to use twitter! I’ve struggled with this platform and how to actually engage. (since I’ve never read private messages there). Using it for research or PR connections makes sense.
After finishing Gary Vaynderchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook” I think this is a perfect blend of engagement and context. Thanks!