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  www.berkmanpr.com, or contact us at 619-231-9977.

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