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From Zero to Leno: Michael Smart on Pitching Via Twitter

This is a guest post by by Michael Smart, host of  tomorrow’s Seven Secrets of New Media Relations Stars webinar. There’s still time to register – click here!

This is the story of how an unlikely PR client made it into Jay Leno’s famous monologue one Friday.

I train and coach people how to boost their media relations results in this transformed media landscape. One of my clients applied the techniques I share with savvy and persistence to get a big result.

Adam Dvorin at New Jersey firm Winning Strategies had been trying and failing for weeks to pitch a new technology developed by his client, the Stevens Institute of Technology. He didn’t give up when he couldn’t find an email address for one of his prime targets, a freelancer who contributes to tech news giant CNET.com

Instead, he tweeted this at her: “”An app that will shut down a driver’s cell phone (but will allow the passenger to use) has been developed. Want to learn more?”

She responded with her email, the dialogue continued, and this story resulted on the site, which, according to Compete.com, lands more than 16 million monthly visitors. At least one of them must be a writer for Leno, because that night Jay included this line in his monologue: “Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey have developed technology they say will shut down a cell phone while driving a car (pause), this is not new – AT&T has had this technology for years . . .” (it’s at the 1:30 mark here).

The “want to learn more?” line has been a winning way to close email pitches for me, and adapting it to Twitter was an obvious next step.

I’ll be sharing more tips and examples like this in the webinar I’m presenting for Vocus. I’ll also detail a step-by-step plan for using Twitter to establish and maintain relationships with key journalists and bloggers. Until then, best of luck on all your Twitter-pitching forays.

There’s more: read how Michael enlisted The Office’s Dwight Schrute to land a story on TIME.com – and register now for his Seven Secrets of New Media Relations Stars webinar!

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