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  • Writer's pictureCascade Communications

10 Tips for Pitching Media on Twitter

Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, getting in front of an interacting with media has become easier than before. Recent surveys of journalists say that they do manage their own accounts and are likely to see your pitch, but first you need to build a relationship with them.

Here's how to build relationships with media, engage and then pitch them your story.

1. Follow the journalist, not the just publication or outlet: Most journalists have their own social media accounts giving you a better shot at getting your message directly in front of them. 2. Engage with them and their content: Building a relationship with media is always at the forefront of PR. Why? Because they are often so busy that they are likely to pause for someone they feel they "know" since they've interacted with them than someone who hasn't. There is nothing more flattering than starting a conversation and having people participate. It's social media for a reason.

3. Be sure that the person you are sending a message to is the correct person to receive it: This is important! Like anything it's important to know your audience. You don't want to pitch a theater writer a business story, so do your homework and make sure that you are contacting the correct person and the right media outlet. Once you find that person interact with them on their content without pushing your agenda. They will be more likely to pay attention.

4. Hit industry trades first: A great way to get some quick wins and to establish yourself within your industry is to connect with trade publications specific to your industry, audience and your customer-base. If you have a consumer product, make that your second tier approach. Once you can show some industry interest (post it on your online press room), then you can prove a track record of interest, but remember, your pitch to the industry and to the consumer are two different messages. 5. Post your press release online: On Twitter, in particular, you have limited space to say what you want to say, so post your pitch with a link to your online press room or to the place you have posted it to online (i.e. a variety of free or paid online press release distributions). 6. Have a story: I had a blog that I continue to receive pitches from PR people for. I hate to say it, but most of them are terrible. There's no news and it's not relevant to my blog (again, know your audience). They immediately go in the trash and I can't imagine anyone is actually picking up these stories. They just are newsworthy, timely or compelling. Why is your news so compelling? What does it mean? and define the Why! 7. Think in headlines: Headlines are around us everywhere, every day. Good PR people are always thinking in headlines. Keep your pitch short and sweet; a tease. You have one chance to get it right. If you can't get out what you want to say in less than 140 characters, and with a link to your press release, go back over it until you can create that impactful headline that will catch their attention. For ideas, pick up the newspaper or a magazine and flip through just the headlines. Does something catch your attention? Why? Examples:

  • New product gives elderly, those with disabilities, dexterity issues dignity again (website) # seniors # disabilities

  • Finally, a "typical" retail exp for parents of kids w # developmentaldisorders @TheSensoryKidsStore

  • What student athletes can learn from Lance Armstrong, A-Rod. Expert, author gives real-life tips

  • Contract worker #'s to reach all-time high in 2023. New site makes it easy for # contractors # employers to connect @ VouchedIn

8. Be breezy and social: When posting directly to a journalist you might want to add a "please look at this", "thought you might like this" or "thanks for checking this out". 8. Give them a shout out: If a journalist does pick up your story and runs it then be sure to give them a warm shout out on Twitter and a big thanks! Everyone appreciates a warm and fuzzy for others to see.9. Don't SPAM media over social media: This one sure way to NEVER get action on your story. Be thoughtful, respectful and considerate. Send something to them once a week for a few weeks and trust that they will contact you if interested. If they don't it means that you haven't met the list of things above. Give it a rest, then a tweak and try again.10. Free services: There are a few great free services and Tweeps you should follow to increase your reach;

  • #MyStorySource - you can follow @MyStorySource and post your story pitch to the hashtag. Great way to practice and refine your headline creation and pitching skills. You can post three times a day every day. A number of top media follow the feed including USA Today, Newsweek, NY Times, US News Money, WGN-TV, ChannelOne, Forbes, Crain's Chicago and San Antonio Express-News, along with many freelance writers and bloggers.

  • @HelpAReporter and @ProfNet on Twitter often post queries from media looking for sources. Worth signing up for their email newsletters.

9. Don't assume you can slide into their DMs: A lot of media have now turned off this option on their Twitter accounts due to aggressive pitches sent through DM. Be cool and...

10. Be thoughtful. No one likes a stalker: Hit up the reporter once a week for three weeks and then let it go. Stalking or aggressive messaging will encourage them to block you, ensuring your messages are never seen or received.

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