Using social media is second nature to bloggers but using social media to build your own PR and create media connections is something many of us don't think about. Today, PR professional Cecilia Ponzi gives us some tips on how to leverage social media for our own public relations!
You’re doing everything right.
You have a passion for your business, you're blog posting 16 times a month, you’ve invested in a blog that reflects your brand, found your niche, defined your target audience and yet, you still feel invisible?
If your head is nodding yes, I think you’ll really appreciate today’s marketing post on how to get noticed with the media using social media.
So…until your quirky little video gets on Canada AM on “What I Learned on YouTube Today” segment, here are some social media steps you can use to beef up your public relations and get noticed by the media.
Before You Begin
Educate yourself on basic PR Protocol before you start contacting journalists and media.
- It's okay to call a journalist but make sure you are focused and knowledgeable on what they write about
- If it's a magazine or publication, make sure you’ve reviewed their editorial calendar before the call - you can often find these on-line
- Learn to write well. This is for your press releases, emails and other forms of communications.
- It’s not about you
- Please and thank you works!
You and Finding News
- Consider supporting a charity, cause or local organization. Your involvement not only increases your standing in the community, it offers great PR opportunities.
- Tie in a promotion or contest with a local event. (For this post, I’ll be using the Saint Patty Day Parade as an example)
- Review the editorial calendars of publications and generate story pitch ideas that sound compelling enough so they will listen. This is called pitching.
- Celebrate a company anniversary, a new hire or a new location.
Targeting the Media
Powerful Copy: Effective copy will get you noticed. Writing is selling, writing is brand development and writing is SEO.
Focus Your Coverage: Our world is noisy. It is estimated that there are one million blog posts every day! Now, just imagine how hard it will be for you to get a journalist to pay attention to your news. Sometimes it is best to start small and local.
Keep Track: Create a media list on excel or CRM. Track the media and people you’ve contacted. It’s not fun should a journalist call you and you can’t remember which one you’ve contacted.
Follow-up: Sometimes, simply following up is key to getting a free plug.
The Twitter Newsroom
Look on Twitter to find the accounts for media coverage you’ve decided are a good fit for your news, this includes:
- TV channel, magazines and newspaper
- Journalists and News Anchor
Once you've identified the accounts that might be a good fit start engaging with them:
- Create a twitter list
- Follow them and give them a complimentary shout-out. (Not all at once, obviously. Be tactical)
- Do not private message them.
- Hashtags: Add specific hashtags, not ones you like to make up. Local events usually create their own hashtags and TV channels and magazines also have their own hashtags. Use theirs.
- Do not write: “Look at this.” “We here.” “Click Here.” “Follow us”
Write intriguing, half statements or questions and keep them rolling:
- “Handing out free green chocolate, home-baked cookies during #StpatMaine @journalist @journalist2"
- "Yummy home-baked cookies made with raw sugar- free! #stpatmaine"
- "We’re at corner Maine & Cobbler Street. @Journalist @journalist2 #stpatmaine"
Pay attention to the timing of your tweets:
- Daily shout-outs: No more than 3 to 5 to one specific person.
- Daily shout-outs to event: As many as you like since you are promoting their event.
Don't forget about your photos!
- Visual Story: Create dedicated messages and snippets of you creating that contest for Saint Patty Day.
- Follow: You will most likely find more photojournalists on Instagram. As a result, you will also find newbies who are starting out. Connect with these.
Ideally your Facebook platform already has great content (video, events, and pictures) and a reader base that visits your page regularly. On Facebook you can be specific about your news and your call to action and it's ok for up to 20% of your Facebook posts to be used for pure promotion.
The key here is to be active and engage: join groups that fit your target market and blog niche. Use hashtags just as you would on Twitter - they're searchable on Facebook. For a post highlighting your involvement in the Saint Patty Day Parade, target your fans, other influencers and enthusiasts specifically involved in the parade.
Social media can be a great tool for getting PR for your blog. Following these tips will help you get noticed and get you in the news!
- Branding Your Blog: Becoming a Leader in Your Niche
- Putting Together a Media Kit For Your Blog
- Six Tips For Sending Professional Emails
Cecilia Ponzi, CEO and founder of The Marketing Boutique., (TMB Agency) is a marketing strategic consultant and communications expert. She is the author of two eBooks, including “The Friendly Leader”, which focuses on the importance of authentic leadership with digital marketing. The company is a full-service marketing communications firm that delivers laser-focused, SEO driven, brand building content for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. For more information, please visit, tmbagency.com.