April 21, 2016
/ by Maria Materise
Sending a pitch to a journalist without building rapport in advance almost guarantees rejection. So where should communication professionals go to connect with journalists and ensure a more positive response to their pitches?
In the face of advancing technology and shifting news preferences, reporters have turned to social media to reach their audiences where they want to consume news most.
By understanding the way journalists leverage social media, communication professionals will be better able to interact with them and foster a productive relationship. Here are three ways social media is an effective tool for journalists:
Want more insights on journalists’ use of social media? Read the free “State of the Media 2016 Report!”
Social media allows journalists to reach a wide audience, share news quickly and engage interested readers. According to Cision’s “State of the Media 2016 Report,” 73 percent of journalists use social media to build relationships.
But it isn’t only a relationship with their audience that journalists seek. Social media is the perfect platform for your brand to share its voice, jump in on trending conversations and establish rapport with journalists.
Using your media database, you can target the journalists that are the best fit for your brand. Remember, the best fit may not always be the journalist with the largest following. Look instead for the journalist with the most engaged following.
While social media is a great place to reach out and connect with targeted journalists, you should save your pitches for email. The report finds that 93 percent of journalists prefer to be pitched via email.
To keep up with emerging trends and what’s important to their audiences, journalists must monitor social media. As Sarah Arney of the Stanwood Comano News in Washington notes, “You can’t deny social media as a way to find out what people are thinking.”
While only 20 percent of journalists receive pitches on social media, 51.8 percent are using it to find and build stories. When news breaks, social media allows journalists to cover it quickly, find facts and engage those talking about the topic.
Journalists may even send out a tweet or a post looking for sources. If you believe your brand could offer a unique perspective, respond and you may gain some coverage. Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable resource, the journalist may turn to you again in the future for another opportunity.
It’s no secret that the public’s interest in traditional media has waned. Especially for younger audiences and millennials, social media is becoming the preferred news source. That means that if journalists want to reach this demographic, they need to establish a strong social presence.
By sharing stories on social media, journalists can grow their audience. Social media isn’t limited by subscriptions, so journalists can expand their reach more than they would have been able to by just posting the story on their website or blog.
Unlike traditional media, on social, readers give journalists an immediate reaction and direct feedback. Journalists use this as an opportunity to engage with their readers and start a conversation.
Communication professionals should keep their eyes open for these opportunities. Your brand can further establish itself as a trusted source by offering interesting insights to the conversation.
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