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PR pros use a range of social media sites to make media connections

We’ve explored the many ways in which PR professionals utilize the power of mainstream social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. But we know little on how the lesser-talked about platforms are being used. Most people are familiar with FourSquare and Reddit, but how are PR pros using them to connect with journalists? Five industry professionals share what other social media platforms they’re using and how they’re useful:

Alex Katzen, Public Relations Manager, Search Mojo

“I use several resources to help with the relationship building process. Quora is a great site to learn about the public relations field. Blog Lovin’ is a great site to keep track of the different bloggers. It is essentially a newsfeed that is refreshed every time a selected blogger publishes a new post. So imagine Facebook’s newsfeed but instead, it is full of bloggers’ posts.”

Jamie Diamond, President, Wild Beagles Inc.

“I’ve used IM [Instant Message] as the backbone to follow-up on email pitches and run entire lines of communications with reporters since AOL created the running man logo. Some reporters I’ve never talked to on the phone and have gotten major media coverage from/with them – wouldn’t know what they sound like. It’s super simple, it’s non-invasive and I think in the super fast world of news reporting, it’s mostly welcomed.”

John Yarbrough, Account Director, the Dialog Lab

“I’ve personally found Quora to be the most valuable for understanding what topics are top of mind for journalists. Since Quora gives you the ability to follow topics, as well as individual users, it’s a great tool for discovering specific trends a reporter may be watching.”

Matthew Hurst, Communications Analyst, Nielsen

“I’m a PR pro and social media geek, so I’m always trying out the newest social platforms to see how they can help connect with different audiences.

Any PR pro knows that successful communication begins with listening to your audience, whether they’re a journalist using Twitter, a business person searching Quora, or a consumer adding product reviews on YouTube. Social media is the world’s greatest listening platform, so being a successful PR or marketer means interacting with your audience on whatever social network they’re using. On link-sharing sites like Reddit and Digg, that means seeing what stories are building buzz, much as many reporters do when they’re looking for ideas on these sites. Instagram and Tumblr are also great for more casual interaction with your target audience, and in my experience an easy way to engage with reporters in terms of relationship building.

Another underrated network for PR pros is Foursquare. Many marketers already understand Foursquare is a smart way to interact with consumers wherever they go, but PR pros should also use the social network to engage with their audiences. I always check-in at Foursquare venues during industry events, and more often than not find a reporter or two I’ve worked with, giving me a new opportunity for an impromptu meet up. And since events often make up a big part of many PR’s work, it’s another good opportunity to interact during the event.”

Stephanie Williamson, Assistant Account Executive, Atomic PR

“A great tool we use here at Atomic PR is Clipboard. It helps the office save and share anything online. Clipboard let’s you clip the “entire” Web, preserving the visual look, style, feel and richness of the original item (including functioning hyperlinks) and share that “clip” with others. We can import specific content, such as images and text files, and create rich text notes online, making it a great way to organize for media coverage and trend tracking.”

–Katrina M. Mendolera

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