Any experienced publicist will tell you that fostering relationships with journalists is essential if you want to get your clients and their work into the public eye. Prior to the social media evolution, publicists and journalists maintained work-oriented relationships mainly via phone or email. (Nope…sliding into those DM’s wasn’t a tactic back in the day.)
Although these methods may help create good work connections, to form authentic relationships with journalists, more communication is needed. With social media becoming an empire of its own, many journalists have taken to platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to share more about themselves, their interests and most importantly what they are writing about. This has given publicists the opportunity to get to know journalists before reaching out to them, which can help create stronger connections and significantly better pitches.
Here are some tips on how to get social with journalists:
A generic ramble that was clearly sent to every writer in the city isn’t going to stand out from hundreds of other pitches. Make sure to distinctly tailor your pitch to each individual journalist. You can even comment on a recent Instagram you loved! Publicists that customize their pitches are going to capture a journalist’s attention much quicker than those that don’t.
Let’s face it, coming up with innovative pitches can be difficult and even more time consuming. This is where social media comes in handy. Often journalists will tweet/Instagram ideas or pieces that they are currently working on. This allows publicists to gather client information they find relevant and simply click send.
BE CURIOUS NOT CREEPY
We’ve all been there. You come across a new Insta profile and next thing you know you’re 200 weeks back. Everything’s fine as long as you don’t double click, right? Even though it’s important to stay updated on what journalists are sharing, don’t start liking every post or tweet. Familiarize yourself with their content, but don’t be a stalker.
KNOW WHEN TO EMAIL
A journalist may have a Twitter, but this doesn’t mean you should send your pitch via tweet. Always look for their preferred method of communication. If a journalist asks for the pitch via DM, send away! But don’t be afraid to suggest moving the exchange to email. That way you can avoid the character limitations and have a more thorough conversation
It’s important to remember that building and nurturing relationships with journalists will help immensely if you want your clients to get the features they deserve. Make sure to follow your favorite journalists for a chance to get to know them and their work better.