Archive for February, 2010

Twitpitch: Effective or Crossing the Line?

The communications realm is one that is constantly changing and transforming. So much that it can be hard to keep up with. Most recently, the introduction of social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have opened up significant new channels of communication. While these resources are great for personal use and keeping in touch with old friends, they are also being commonly utilized by PR and communications professionals to interact with the media.

These days, journalists are inundated with emails and pitches from PR professionals, and so many emails from PR professionals are deleted without ever being read. Therefore, it’s no surprise that PR professionals are adopting new ways to communicate with the media, including through social networks. This trend has sparked a new phenomenon called the “Twitpitch”, a practice whereby PR professionals pitch the media through Twitter, Facebook and other social network utilities.

That raises the important question: Is it appropriate to pitch media utilizing social networks? Or, is that considered crossing the boundaries of a professional working relationship? It seems that many pitches from PR professionals submitted via Twitter or Facebook ARE well-received by journalists. However, when crafting their “Twitpitch”, PR professionals should still follow the same rules of thumb as they would if pitching a story via email or on the phone. Here are a few of them:

  • Know who you’re pitching and how they like to receive information. There is no general consensus among the media regarding their preference for receiving a pitch via a social media site. Therefore, before pitching a story to them, it’s important to understand their interests and how they prefer to receive information,
  • Follow members of the media on Twitter to read Tweets about the current stories they are working on. Following journalists on Twitter is one of the best ways to keep up with what they are working on or the types of information they are interested in receiving. It will also help you determine their preferences regarding how to approach them on social media sites.
  • Just like traditional pitching, it takes planning and precision. You will have more success if you remain active on social media networks and stay on the reporter’s radar.  If you comment on their posts and re-tweet related articles, they will be more inclined to respond to you because they will know that you are a loyal follower of their magazine, TV program, etc., and that you have done your homework. Building a relationship with journalists before you pitch them is also valuable.

For more information about this blog post or to learn how PR and social media can improve your company’s reputation, awareness and bottom-line, visit BERKMAN online at, or contact us at 619-231-9977.

Putting the “Public” back into your “Relations”

Your restaurant was the hottest in the neighborhood when it opened two years ago…now you have a steady flow of regulars and you’re making mediocre profit. The innovative gadget you launched last year went from soaring to sub par sales due to increased competition. What starts out as a well received campaign for your business or product will most likely begin to fall on deaf ears if you don’t reinvent your brand image, or message. What some professionals fail to realize is that their market and industry are constantly changing, and a three-month PR plan won’t keep the celebration going on forever.

Revisiting the idea of PR and marketing after the initial honeymoon of success could be the key to bringing back new customers, revitalizing your product or reestablishing your message. In the PR world, we’re constantly thinking of fresh angles and out-of-the-box campaigns that can reboot what was once a fabulous idea.  PR pros don’t rest on their laurels and actually welcome the challenge of clients with stale products or ideas. In addition to the wheel-turning minds of a PR agency, the media itself is ever evolving which leads to new, creative outlets every day.

Have you considered going viral with your product or business? This would be an all-out blitz on social media outlets with videos, Tweets, blogs and anything else that can snowball into the Internet age. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter may seem taboo, or even child’s play, to some “seasoned” professionals, but in fact these are the latest, and sometimes most effective, tools of our generation. A strategically planned social media campaign can go much further and reach a wider audience than traditional media.

But before getting all Tweet and photo-post happy on us, ask yourself a few questions…What has changed within your industry since your last or initial PR or marketing campaign? What is new about your restaurant’s menu? What are novel ways to utilize your once-popular gadget? What are you currently doing that your competition is not? Without “reinventing the wheel,” think of ways that PR can elevate a new idea, purpose or benefit that will put your company back into the spotlight.

You still have the best product out there; people are just tired of hearing the same old pitch. So get back on the PR saddle and bring those sales back up to where they were during your last PR campaign. For more information on how BERKMAN can reignite your company’s brand, visit