How to Use Social Media Before You Pitch

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Social media has changed the way journalists source stories and cover news, but not all journalists prefer to be pitched outright on their social channels.

Still, social can prove to be a great tool for doing research, building relationships and targeting your outreach if you take a nuanced approach.

Here are three ways to use social media before you even send a pitch.

1. Listen

Sometimes the best tactic for social media is to do nothing but listen. Follow journalists and influencers on their preferred networks and watch what news stories they’re sharing, which of their own stories they’re promoting and what trends they’re talking about.

Get a sense of their schedule, what they’ve covered recently, and, if you’re lucky, what requests for topics or sources they’re making. By familiarizing yourself with the conversations journalists are having you can develop an attractive angle for your story and send a more targeted pitch—at an appropriate time.

2. Don’t be everywhere

Figure out which social platforms your target audiences use and which align best with your business goals, and establish a presence there.

Don’t feel pressured to join and create content for every social network just because other companies are adopting a newer or wider set of platforms. If you use social media efficiently, you’ll identify a niche community that can tell your story more effectively.

3. Offer to help – when it’s not your story

Increasingly, journalists are announcing their needs for story ideas, experts, sources and products on social media. If you know the perfect fit—even if it’s not related to your industry or brand—suggest it.

Show a journalist that you can be helpful when it’s not your story on the line. When you take time to make a recommendation or offer up someone from your network, you create goodwill and rapport. Journalists will mostly likely remember your contribution when you’re ready to pitch your news at a relevant time.

Want to pitch more efficiently and effectively? Check out our latest white paper, “The Practice of Slow PR: How to Build Relationships With Reporters & Secure Media Coverage.”

Tags : social media

About Teresa Dankowski

Teresa Dankowski is a content marketing manager at Cision and covers best practices in marketing, PR and social media. She enjoys printmaking, wine, TV and dominating at rec league softball.

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