Loren Antonio Duran
There is a question, however, about the effectiveness of traditional public relations outreach tactics in a landscape increasingly dominated by social media. Here in the 21st century, news is made, shared and read on social channels — Twitter, LinkedIn, even Snapchat — making social media not just our primary news outlets, but our social connections the “reporters” themselves.
As Marian Salzman pointed out in a recent Forbes article, "It's still our job to get our clients' messages in the news, but the very definitions of who is making the news and how it's being made are undergoing tectonic shifts."
What does this mean for public relations professionals? A few things:
Knowing your influencers makes all the difference
Truly influential reporters are dwindling in number, but every industry has some. The ability to identify these key reporters, develop working relationships with them that generates coverage is, of course, your most important job as a PR pro.
Befriend these influencers. Get in touch even when you’re not pitching a story. Interact as much as possible!
Make sure the reporters you’re pitching have a broad social media reach
Now that you have identified the reporters who will be most interested in your client’s news, take the time to research how active they are on social media and pitch them accordingly. Do they frequently post and repost their articles on social networking? Bingo!
Reporters focusing on niche topics tend to follow each other. What better way to get to know your key influencers than looping yourself into their social networks?
Use DMs to your advantage
Reporters get thousands of emails a day. A simple message that quickly sends a notification to their smart phone is a lot more effective than having your message stuck beneath 100 unread spam messages.
Not yet on DM terms? Then tweet!
Can you sum up your news in a snappy and enticing 140 characters or less? If you can, that will make everyone’s job easier and open the door to future communication. Don’t be afraid to throw in a piece of multi-media, like a photo or a clever gif.
Stick with what works
Last but not least, stick to tried and true methods that still come through — like phone calls! When emails and DMs fail, it never hurts to try to get your key influencer on the horn.
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Loren Antonio Duran is a senior account associate and media relations expert at Bospar.