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Media Relations: Twitter Edition

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Web 2.0 technologies have made for practitioners to stay connected with constituents in new ways. Today’s audience is journalists.  In my first post , I discussed that the key to getting  bloggers to put your information out there is to build relationships with them.  For journalists on Twitter, this remains the same.

Robert Burns II, of Social Media Today says to think like a journalist,  become familiar with them, engage them, to build relationships with them, and to be patient.  The first step is to have them become aware of you. This involves subscribing to them and becoming familiar with what the journalist shares on a regular basis.  Read their Twitter feeds and blogs if they have them, and post useful comments.

Next, Burns says to engage them. The easiest way to do that is it use an “@ mention” in an authentic and relevant manner.  Delve deep into their stories, and offer unique and valuable information to them.   Another point he makes is to build a relationship with them when  you aren’t necessarily looking for a direct benefit. It appears more authentic, and it will help you out when you do need them. Be patient Robert says. Understand that journalists are in fact people too.

It’s always important in life, no matter what situation, to appreciate the perspective of whoever you are communicating to.  Burns mentions this in his article about relations with journalists via twitter, citing this post by Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer.

In it, Falls highlights points for journalists to consider when dealing with social media.  Falls notes that social networks and wikis are not the most reliable sources for serious journalists.  He wants reporters to realize time constraints, but participate in community discussion as well. Jason says reporters should be aware of local tweets as well. There are more, but by realizing these and the other issues reporters deal with, practitioners can better communicate with journalists.

Using this information, respecting journalists’ time limitations, understanding their location including what/where they write about, and providing reliable information can help reporters build a more meaningful relationship with you so that you and your journalist can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship.

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