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8 Steps to Finding Relevant News Outlets With Twitter Lists

Most Twitter users are familiar with lists. They tend to use them to categorize followers according to what they do or where they live. It’s a valid use of lists, but it neglects a potential option with high dividends: using Twitter lists to find relevant news outlets.

Twitter Lists - Find Relevant Media Outlets

Such a use is attractive to PR professionals; they seek to place stories in outlets where their key audience members are likely to be. Their goal is not a feel-good clip from Good Morning America or Forbes but coverage that translates into leads and sales.

To find those relevant outlets, PR professionals should consider taking the following eight steps:

  1. Segment your Twitter followers. If you control a branded Twitter account, segment your audience into lists of current and potential customers. If you can, score potential customers so that you can identify warm prospects.
  2. Study your warm prospects in closer detail. Your primary goal is to examine their tweets and the URLs they share, but remember to mine for other information, too. You can discover a lot about your prospects by paying attention to what they say and when and how they say it.
  3. Study your existing customers. Just because your current customers buy from or work with you doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create content for them. Find out where else they’re active. If they already buy from you, they probably know people or belong to audiences that might welcome your product or service.
  4. Save the URLs from both audiences in a spreadsheet. You don’t need to save the entire address; you just need to know the site. Note which sites are being shared more often by your warm prospects and current customers. To keep the URLs organized, consider using separate spreadsheets or documents.
  5. Research the commonly shared sites. Once you have the sites, you need to discover a friendly reporter, blogger or editor at each of them. Save these names and their contact information in either the same spreadsheet or a different one, whichever makes the work easier.
  6. Develop relationships with the sites’ bloggers, journalists and/or editors. This step should be familiar to you, but you now have a competitive edge. You know exactly why you’re contacting these people, and you probably have the perfect story.
  7. Pitch your story. Once you’ve established rapport with people at the sites, it’s time to start pitching your news and stories.
  8. Rinse and repeat. Your customers’ and prospects’ behaviors change, and websites come and go, so you’ll want to research your customers and potential news outlets on a recurring basis.

How do you find relevant news outlets? Have you ever used Twitter lists to help with the process?

Want even more Twitter tips? Check out this Twitter cheat sheet for PR pros.

Image: Jennie (Creative Commons)

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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