A recent survey reported in PR Week found 70-percent of journalists use social media networks to help with their reporting. That's up from 41-percent a year ago.
Social media lets journalists interact with their readers, listeners and viewers in ways traditional media never did and it's changing how newsrooms approach stories. Most journalists don't want to be "pitched" on social media, but many are willing to engage in conversations about their beat or their work.
You could ask a question, get a dialogue going about common experiences or hobbies, compliment a recent story, or ask about their process in researching or verifying a story. In other words, get on their radar as someone who is tuned in to what the journalist is doing and thinking. That relationship could lead to becoming a source or getting featured in a story. (Please be authentic and approach these interactions with journalists sincerely. Be interested and helpful. Don't pose as something or someone you are not.)
Keep reading for more tips…
Get started by putting social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. Most services are free and relatively easy to set up. The various networks all have their own quirks and rules. As a solo entrepreneur, I wouldn't spend a lot of time or money decking out my site. While they're hot today, these social media networks may be gone tomorrow.
For now, use them to find like-minded communities and individuals, build relationships and get yourself better known in your field. (personal free publicity!) You can do that by watching and following what others in your field are doing, commenting with relevant information on their posts and contributing valuable posts of your own. Add to your internet real estate with a blog or a website, or both!
Most of the social media services allow you to link your accounts together so with one action, your articles, photos, insights, event announcements and marketing/ promotional efforts post everywhere. Look for that feature. It's a real time-saver.
Here's something important to consider. If you are using social media for your business, get into it to add to the global conversation. Provide real information, not just a link to something you're selling or details about what you had for dinner. Some personal sharing will help show you're a likable real person, but in presenting yourself as a professional, you want to decide what and how much about your life you want out in the world.
Remember on the internet, items can live FOREVER and in the social media universe, family, friends, colleagues, potential customers or business partners AND journalists could be watching.
Photo Credit: stock.xchng/JadeGordon