1. You can search for media and reporters via social media outlets
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have search bars where businesses can locate reporters via social networks. There are a couple of tools available online to help businesses directly connect with the reporter base they are looking for on social media. One of those tools is Muck Rack. Muck Rack is a centralized database of reporter and other media, all of which can be found right on social networks.
On Twitter; look through hashtags for trending topics and make sure to retweet and respond to posts by reporters in your industry. You also want to make sure to serve as a resource. To serve as a resource, you can suggest a variety of topics and blog posts about your business that are related to the reporters needs on hand.
While on LinkedIn, it’s important to join groups that reporters will most likely be found. Search for journalist groups and other media and PR groups and join these. Posting relevant content to the groups on a regular basis will establish your authority and increase your notoriety and likeability. You can also look up various news companies and go through their employee list and add reporters, newspapers and media columnist you find on LinkedIn to your media list. You want to make sure you are adding people to your database on a regular basis, as well as continuing to comment and post. The key here is to establish yourself as a viable resource among reporters as well as create ongoing relationships.
Businesses can join industry groups on facebook and simply add value to the groups they join by providing information, articles and also commenting on the posts by others. Directly commenting and sharing posts from a reporters fan page is a good relationship growing tip for this as well.
The next step would be directly message. In the initial message you don’t want to pitch, you just want to introduce yourself and start the connection. The goal here is to establish a relationship that last longer than one single encounter. After you introduce yourself you can complement the reporter to gain rapport, you can also share your blog as a resource for any stories the reporter may need. Make sure you stay in the loop of any holidays coming up, or special occasions and awards and congratulate/celebrate with the reporter on all of these.
Remember, all of the messages can simply be relayed through social media channels, so its just as simple as a tweet or other status update.
* A few extra keys on how a small business owner can help journalist
Make sure to offer interesting topics a reporter can cover, offer yourself as an expert interview or someone you know, provide relevant and interesting information to journalist on a regular basis. Remember that establishing a relationship before the pitch is a major key to success.
“Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in ‘premature solicitation’. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that.” – Dr. Ivan Misner, NY bestselling author & founder of BNI
The last thing you want to do is make the pitch. And you can learn more about pitching in our upcoming course Social Media PR, available in our virtual classroom.