Over the years, social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have made it easier for public figures such as celebrities, professional athletes and even reporters to become more accessible to us.
But how much is too much accessibility? Due to the nature of constantly being connected and online, PR pros are able to stay up to date with reporters and their work. With this in mind, it’s important to understand boundaries and which ones to not overstep. Read our tips below to understand the do’s and don’ts of social media pitching.
Research Their Profile
Similar to the digital landscape, careers and jobs are constantly changing. Unfortunately, Cision and other PR tools don’t always have the capability of updating a reporter’s information in real time. Research their social media profiles to see what they’re currently doing. Did their beat change? Are they with a different publication? By doing so, this will make it easier for you to have a tailored pitch and to not make the mistake of pitching them a topic that’s irrelevant.
Build A Relationship
Once you identify the reporters that you want to pitch and follow them on social media, start to engage with their posts. But don’t go overboard and reply to every single thing that they post. By building an actual relationship before you start pitching, this may help your chances of getting them to show interest in your story idea.
Make Yourself A Valuable Resource
When pitching a reporter on social media, it’s important to provide them with everything they need. For example, if you notice a reporter is tweeting out questions to a specific topic or has shown interest in one—have links, photos, etc. ready to send via DM. It’s best practice to direct message a reporter these materials rather than publicly message them.
Pitch Without Following
Before sending out that pitch, double-check to make sure you’re following that reporter. If not, it shows that you’re not personally interested in them or their work.
Publicly Send Mass Pitches
As mentioned above, it’s okay to send a pitch via direct message. But the same doesn’t apply for your timeline. If you a pitch a reporter and they’re interested in your story, then they’re more than likely going to view your profile to see who you are and what you’re up to. It doesn’t look good if they see you tweeted that same pitch to 50 other reporters.
Facebook is an intimate, family-friend oriented platform in comparison to Twitter. The last thing a reporter may want to see is a pitch in their messages that is designated for those closest to them.