How can you effectively build relationships with members of the media and increase the chances of them telling your story? Get social.
Whether you work in the media or public relations industry, own a business, or create some amazing gizmo, you should be using social networks to connect with storytellers – bloggers, journalists, broadcast and radio reporters and producers. You never know when you might be able to serve as a source for them or better yet, have your story told.
By now chances are a majority of people in the media have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. They are using these mediums not only to promote their work, but also to connect and search for sources or story ideas. Being on the receiving end of their posts will help you network with some powerful voices and be in the know if they are looking for sources for their story or news report.
The social media platform has done a lot to tear down many of the barriers and bridge the gap between media producers and the community. So how do you connect? Join the conversation and start interacting, but remember many of the same rules apply here:
- Don’t spam or bombard them with irrelevant messages.
- If they ask for a source or topic for a story, be sure you truly fit the bill. If you pitch off-topic you run the risk of never getting one of your responses read by them again.
- Self-edit. While speed and brevity are the nature of social media, be sure you are sending accurate information. You want them to think of you as a credible source.
- Pay attention to their posts. See what they typically write about or report on. This will give a tremendous amount of insight on what types of story ideas they might be receptive to.
- Don’t always just promote yourself. If you have a connection to a source they are in need of, but it won’t necessarily promote you or your company, still let them know. Or if you come across a compelling story that doesn’t involve you, but they would be interested, share it with them. They’ll remember you for it and it’s just good karma.
- Don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond. Keep in mind they likely have at least ten times the number of followers as the average user and likely receive just as many messages. It would be near impossible to keep up with them all. Be diligent. Be relevant. And don’t give up. More often than not it will pay off…trust me.
How do you find these sources? Search the various networks and also check out the below links for a few lists. Once you find them, search their profiles. Who are they following and talking to? You may want to do the same…if it’s relevant to you.
Question of the week:
How do you use social media to connect with various media outlets? Any surprising moments? Share a comment.
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