Looking back to before social media outlets, it’s hard to imagine how PR professionals did their job so effectively. But looking back is no use anymore – social media’s grasp on the journalism world is only moving forward. So, here’s an overview about how PR people are using social media to connect with writers and advance the entire journalism spectrum.
Journalists always strive to be the first to break a story – assuming they are getting credible information, having a story no one else has written about yet is key to standing out from the countless writers. By tapping into PR firms and PR practitioners through social media, writers can get a helping hand in breaking stories. Simply by following different firms on Twitter, a writer can get newsworthy updates directly on their phone almost as they happen.
Finding Freelance Writers
Just like job posting sites, social media outlets can be a great way to connect PR professionals with journalists who can extend information into the general media without sounding like it’s coming straight from the source. Most newspapers and magazines do not like to put press releases out there but if a PR firm can get a hold of talented writers, getting from press release to front page story may not be that difficult. By using hash tags (#freelance, #freelancers, #writers) for instance on Twitter, journalists can find people looking for freelance writers within a few seconds.
Media individuals love to associate with fellow media – whether it be PR, advertising or writers, they all love to mingle and help each other out knowing that someday the favor will be returned. Staying connected with previous co-workers through Twitter or Facebook or even attending the same events can be a great way to network and maintain your relationships within the field. PR firms often announce events on social media sites simply because it has the furthest reach nowadays. Making phone calls seems like a waste of time when one Tweet can reach thousands in a second. Charity events and foundations also like to use social media to connect with writers who can cover their event. Keeping an eye out on social media sites might get you some good articles in addition to attending some great events.
Increasing Page Views
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for some writers, recognition and even sometimes payment relies heavily on page views if your article/story is only online. By Tweeting the link to our story and including some major PR firms or related media people in the Tweet will certainly help to increase your page views assuming someone with a lot of followers re-Tweets it. Knowing who to tag helps a lot and only tag people who you seriously think will be interested in what you wrote – if they aren’t interested they won’t re-Tweet it anyway, so it’s a waste of time. But finding the right mix can be extremely beneficial to increasing the number of people who view (and hopefully read) your story online.