By Liza Nedelman, Communications Co-Chair
By now, we should all be used to the gist – social media is not only at the forefront of today’s culture, its an integral part to getting our jobs done (or, alternatively – keeping us from getting our jobs done) as public relations professionals. However, its important to remember that social media is not only a way for the public to reach our clients, and our clients to reach the public. Social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, or even Tumblr, can and should be used by PR professionals on a professional level to develop and maintain relationships.
In this day and age, relationships are notoriously tough to maintain. Gone are the days where you could pick up the phone, call a journalist and discuss your product in a casual, semi off-the-record fashion. Now, journalists won’t even pick up their phones, much less check their voicemails or call you back. So how to put yourself in front of them, without harassing them via email? That’s where social media comes in.
The best PR professionals utilize social media to not only keep track of the sentiment of the public and the media as a whole, but to also monitor and stay connected to key individual journalists. This can be as simple as following them on Twitter, ‘favoriting’ or retweeting their posts, or replying to their posts with a follow-up question.
This allows you to put your name, and position, in a place where you are not actively ‘pitching,’ but allowing the journalist to see that you are paying attention and enjoying what they are writing. Another way this pays off? You’ll have a lot more background information on what they write about next time you DO have to pitch!
Take 10 minutes out of your day and follow a handful of journalists that you deem to be most important. Develop a social relationship with them. Watch and enjoy as contacts you never thought would open an email from you, DO!
Have you used social media to connect with journalists?