Twitter: An Essential Tool for Traditional PR Specialists
Every PR specialist should have an active Twitter account. Despite popular belief, there’s more to Twitter than 140 character updates on weekend escapades and daily workout routines; instead, it’s the best way to keep tabs on journalists ongoing stories and beats, trends, as well as the properties and destinations they stay at when they travel. When conducted appropriately, Twitter also can provide an effective outlet for proactive story pitching. Here are some tips to using Twitter for traditional public relations:
Crowd Sourcing – It’s no secret journalists are short on time. Many editors and freelance writers gather last minute information and experts through Twitter. Reply directly to a journalist’s Twitter handle, but offer to provide an expert via email.
Trends – The hottest trends at hotels, restaurants, flight carriers and more appear on Twitter before they ever appear in print. Twitter can be a great resource for researching pertinent trends before actually sending a pitch to a journalist.
Travel – It sounds a little creepy, but it’s important to pay attention to where journalists are traveling. For example, take notice when someone like Andrew Knowlton, the Restaurant and Drinks Editor at Bon Appetit (@AndrewOKnowlton) is dining in a city or town where you represent a restaurant or a fine accommodations option. Although his schedule might already be full, he may have time to make a quick stop at your establishment, or his plans may change while he’s visiting. It’s okay to write journalists and suggest a restaurant if they’re in the area; HOWEVER, make sure your pitch is finely tailored and fits within their scope of coverage…if you’re efficiently utilizing Twitter, you should also know what trends and stories an editor likes and dislikes before sending a pitch.
Follow the right people – Following the right editors and freelance writers on Twitter actually can lead to stories for clients.
Now go create yourself a Twitter account and become the next social media savvy PR specialist.