Nov 20, 2018 / in Social Amplification / by Sarah Parker

By now you've seen the statistic that PR pros outnumber journalists 7 to 1. That's a lot of noise in the form of mismatched, poorly researched pitches in an inbox to wade through every day. How can social media help?  

PR Pitches need to be tailored and impactful; practiced and green communications professionals alike know this. 

Here's how social media can help with the PR pitching process.

Tapping social media for PR research 

Spending five minutes researching a hashtag on a social platform before using it can save a brand from a social media crisis. Do the same thing looking up the social profiles of journalists and influencers you're pitching and you can avoid a pitch falling completely flat. 

Perhaps a reporter has switched beats but the information you're working with about them is outdated. Or perhaps a reporter covers one beat but has niche interests outside of that beat they write about in their spare time as an influencer. 

Social as part of the PR pitch  

If you see from their social profile(s) that someone is passionate about a niche industry you're pitching, you have a great case for your pitch: Their audience is almost definitely interested in your story and should help build their relationship with their audience as an authority on the subject. 

While social success is never guaranteed, the ability of influencers to curate the right content and share it with their audiences is part of what makes them so popular and makes pitching them the right kinds of stories so crucial. 

The high turnover of content on social also means you can get quick feedback on stories and how they resonated with certain audiences. Social audiences are never shy about sharing their opinions with influencers, brands, traditional journalists, or just about anyone.

Use this feedback to shape better pitches going forward. 

Show that you know social media

If you're regularly engaging with journalists and influencers in the subject area you want to pitch your stories to, you already have a head start. They should recognize you as active in what matters to them, even if you aren't publishing but are engaging with content published by others. 

This also lets them know that your brand understands the culture and norms around different social platforms, which can often make or break a pitch in a socially savvy, Digital PR world. 

Make it easy with the right tools  

You can do this all tirelessly by hand, tracking with spreadsheets you, or you can streamline the process by using Story Kit

We're biased, but we love Story Kit's ability to make things easier on both ends. Everything a journalist needs is wrapped up neatly in one place, including: 

  • Background info
  • Quotes
  • Available interviewees
  • Supporting media

And you get feedback on their interest and engagement with the different elements of your pitch. What parts didn't get clicked through? Do you need stronger supporting media, stronger quotes a journalist can build from? Should your background information be more fleshed out and intriguing? Should you get permission and participation from different interviewees? 

If you know you're pitching the right journalists for the story you're building but your pitches are still falling flat, it could be one of these elements that's holding you back from more successful pitches. 

This can also let you know which journalists are the best fit for the types of stories you're pitching, and allows you to build relationships in the right places. Stop wasting your time and the time of overwhelmed journalists. 

Story Kit allows them to become active participants in pitching rather than passive recipients of story ideas.

Let us know if you're interested in learning more! 

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About Sarah Parker

Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for Cision, planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several different brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things social media strategy, the dynamic world of PR, and mastiffs.