I came across a great piece of research recently, the Social Journalism Study 2013 by Cision, which asked journalists how they used social media for work. The report provides some fascinating statistics.
I haven’t tracked down the 2014 report so am guessing they are still putting that one together. But, the reports from the previous years certainly show the trend and I expect that the picture painted in a more up-to-date report will just emphasise that usage has increased.
Here is a snapshot taken directly from the executive summary of the report:
- Social media is now an everyday professional tool with 96% of UK journalists using it on a daily basis.
- 42% of UK journalists say that they would not be able to carry out their work without social media.
- Twitter is proving to be the quintessential social media tool for UK journalists with 92% of them using it regularly for work.
OK, so journalists are heavy users of social media and maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. If that’s the case then it makes sense to connect and engage with them where they hang out on social media, don’t you think?
How do you connect with journalists on social media?
The question then becomes, so what’s your strategy and plan for finding the right journalists and getting on their radar on social media in a ‘non stalker’ way that will help you get media visibility for your business? As soon as you start to talk about strategies and plans then it sounds a bit serious and large scale. But, the truth is that is doesn’t need to feel like that.
The good news is that the same report highlights that there are a number of reasons journalists use social media – with publishing and promoting own content, and sourcing information, as the top two. A good plan is to start there, don’t you think? I’m not suggesting that you go wading in and start pitching by tweet, you need to take a stepped approach. But, connect on social media with journalists and be of help to them – do that consistently and it will pay dividends.
Using social media to stand out
Let me paint a picture. Journalists receive many hundreds of emails pitching ideas and stories. If you want to stand a chance of getting them to open your email, let alone read it, then what do you think will influence them? They will look at the subject line and that, of course, needs to grab them. They will also look at who sent the email. If you’ve already connected and engaged with them effectively on social media then they’ll recognise your name when your email pings into their inbox. And, as long as you haven’t put them off with your comments, tweets and interaction on social media then they’re more likely to open the email.
Of course, you have no guarantee that the journalist will use your idea or story but the fact that they know your name will put you ahead of the vast majority of your competitors. That’s something to think about.
In a nutshell: Find and connect with your target media contacts on the social networks where they hang out.
How have you used social media to connect with the media?
Found this blog post useful? If so, then enter your email address below for more tips, templates and resources to help you get media visibility for your business.
Image credit: Debbie Leven