Gone are the days of relying on complete accuracy from your media database. You essentially need to become your own media database. You need to be consistently collecting media contacts and evolving your media lists to best reflect the media landscape. In order to keep things relevant and fresh you need to think outside the box: Think social – specifically, Twitter!
Twitter specifically, is a very popular outlet for journalists. Naturally because Twitter has emerged as the ultimate source for news as it happens today. Gone are the days of sending off an email and expecting an immediate response. Times are changing and your skills and tactics need to keep up!
When reaching out to journalists, try to find ways to personalize the subject line or email by weaving in something that is specific and unique to each individual. Tying back to an individual Twitter handle or personal tweet is a good place to start. For instance, Garry Marr, has a Twitter handle that reads @dustywallet. Think of a subject line similar to help your email stand out from the rest, for example: “Dusty Wallet 101: Helping students cope with the stress of student debt.” You’re weaving personal ties of the journalist into the pitch and it’s sure to catch their eye.
Here are a few examples of my favourite journalists that are active on Twitter:
Believe it or not, journalists don’t work 24/7 and you may be surprised to know that most of them turn their email notifications off when they leave the office. To avoid your email showing up at the bottom of a list of 400 emails when they eventually return, check first on their social media accounts to see if they’re actively tweeting about the day’s events. Before I send a journalist an email I check their Twitter to see if it looks as though they are either on air or in the office at that exact moment.
Get out there and start following some of your favourite journalists and explore the wonderful world that is Social PR!
Stay social people!