A few years ago years ago, when I started in my first PR role, I started a private Twitter list of reporters to watch. Ever since then, Twitter lists have been a powerful tool for properly organizing and strategizing PR efforts for me. Let me show you how.
For those of you who may not be familiar with these, Twitter lists allow you to organize Twitter users into specific lists, both private and public, where when you go to that list you see the tweets of only those users (not everyone you’re following). When other users have created public lists, you can also find and follow those.
Here’s how you can take advantage of building and following those lists:
- You can focus on select reporters and see when they are looking for something in particular.
- You can focus on interacting with select reporters.
- You can watch certain news outlets carefully for what they’re covering.
- You can organize reporters by topic, location, whatever it may be that you’re most interested in.
- You can also add influencers and thought leaders to Twitter lists and interact with them (how to find them will be a whole other post).
PR is all about building relationships, if you’re able to interact with reporters on Twitter and start building those relationships, they are much more likely to give you the time of day than if they had never seen your name before.
Of course, this method works best when the reporters you’re looking to interact with actually use Twitter. In my experience roughly 75% of them do, but that’s always changing. (The most recent report on percentage of journalists on Twitter was in 2013 and had it at nearly 60%.) Be sure to look the reporter up in advance, if Twitter isn’t the best method to get in touch, maybe LinkedIn is or just going straight to email.
Hailley Griffis is a digital nomad and PR Specialist at Buffer who is obsessed with communications and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Connect with her at www.hailleygriffis.com and keep up with her current location in the world in 140 characters or less on Twitter as @hailleymari.
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