Media relations: Be a better source via social media
Media relations and social media are two cornerstones of the public relations profession. And often, it seems we PR pros have the mindset that “never the two shall meet.” Media relations outreach is (mostly) done via phone or email. Social media sites allows us open communication with our clients’ fans and followers.
But what if journalists began posing queries on Facebook. Or what if we broke news on Twitter? Truth is, these are no longer “what if” situations – so how can we position ourselves, our companies and our clients as the best possible resource via social media?
First, consider the strengths of all of the communication options we have at our disposal, and tailor messages to these media.
Phone – A phone call to a journalist or reporter is a great tool to introduce a non-pressing subject or follow up on an online communication. When we don’t have the option to meet face-to-face, a phone conversation is the next best option to clarify details and make more personal connections.
Email – Email is best for private or individual communication, especially notes that are not time-sensitive, given delivery delays. Use email also for planning, especially for alerting reporters to upcoming Twitter announcements, as well as for scheduling interviews and sending documents. If you use email blasts, tailor them to sharply defined audiences.
Twitter – With short nuggets of information delivered instantly, Twitter is the best medium for breaking news. Train your followers and reporters to expect to see public announcements here first.
Facebook – Facebook is a better option for conversation and reaction than Twitter. This is likely the best place to engage in casual conversations with your community.
Websites (including blogs) – Websites and blogs are great for communicating longer, more in-depth information to an audience of dedicated followers. The problem with websites is that they require readers to come to you – so they’re poor places to reach large audiences instantly (unless you’ve referred them from another medium, such as Twitter.)
If you choose to take the leap into media relations through Facebook, Twitter or blogs, always remember that everyone is quotable, regardless of the platform.
As PR pros explore this new territory, let’s hear about your experiences and trials merging social media and media relations.
Source: Robert Niles http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/robert/201109/2009/