I’ve known Rin Hamburgh for a while now and have always been impressed by her enthusiasm for helping people learn to how to get free coverage from journalists and the wider press – so much so I thought I’d interview her on our blog.
We all know that Twitter is a fantastic tool for building relationships and driving traffic to your website, but as well as the networking and SEO benefits, it can also be a fantastic PR tool. We talked to Rin Hamburgh, experienced journalist and director of training company Inside Scoop, about how you can use Twitter to befriend journalists and get more press coverage for your business.
So Rin, as a small business, what are the benefits of doing your own PR? Can’t you just pay someone to do all that for you?
You can, and there are ways in which a PR company can be helpful – at a price. If you need to watch your budget, or you simply want greater control over what goes out, there’s no reason why you can’t take control of your PR yourself. After all, you know your business better than anyone else. But PR isn’t just a case of writing the odd press release – it’s a wider strategy, and social media should play a part in that.
OK, so I have a Twitter account – where do I find the journalists?
A simple search on Twitter itself should help you find those who are using the word ‘journalist’ in their bio, or you can look for specific individuals you want to make contact with. Try searching for a publication you’re interested in getting featured in, then see who they follow – most will follow their own writers and some even create public lists that you can subscribe to, making the whole process so much easier.
What do I say? Should I just start sending them press releases and images?
The best way to think of Twitter is as an online networking event. You wouldn’t just run up to a stranger at your local business breakfast meeting and start plugging your latest product, so why would you do that on Twitter? Engage your target in a conversation first – reply to a tweet, comment on a story, anything that starts a conversation as naturally as possible.
Once I’ve found some key contacts, what’s the best way to keep track of them?
Lists, lists, lists!
If you’re following lots of people – which you should be, if you’re interested in growing your own following and engaging in conversation – it will soon get difficult to separate out the journalists from the rest of the group. Put them altogether in a list and it’s much easier to focus on what they’re saying. You could even have multiple lists for news / features, newspapers / magazines etc, or different subject areas.
Cool, sounds simple! Any other top tips?
The best time to pitch a journalist is when they’re actively looking for stories, case studies or expert comments – many will use the hashtag #journorequest to shout out about their specific request, so that’s definitely one worth keeping an eye on.
If you’d like to learn more about using Twitter to turn journalists into your BFFs then sign up for Rin’s half-day workshop on using Twitter to increase your press coverage on the 8th April for just £65 + VAT – for more information click below: