When you have a good relationship it’s easier to pitch stories to a journalist and communicate with them. Journalists are very busy and are often more likely to look at your email or answer your phone call if they know who you are. You will also gain a better understanding of their work schedule and what they are interested in, which will help you pitch the best stories at the right time.
With so many journalists now on social media it provides a great communication tool to help you build a relationship with journalists.
Arketi Web Watch Media survey has revealed 92 percent of journalists are on LinkedIn making it the most-used social network by journalists.
In light of these findings PR News has provided some great tips for communicating to journalists via LinkedIn.
Don’t connect with everyone: Don’t just connect with every journalist you can find. Try and connect with journalists you have previously worked with and journalists you regularly deal with. When connecting with a journalist who doesn’t know you, consider offering them a compelling reason to accept you. Tell them why you want to connect with them and why you would make a good connection.
Get to know the journalist: Before communicating with a journalist it’s a great idea to look at their LinkedIn profile and get to know them better. Find out their interests, what publication they write for, what topics they cover and who else they know. This information can help you communicate with the journalist by talking about shared interests or offering them useful information on the topics they write about.
Follow a publication: By connecting with a publication you can stay up to date on their latest updates and look out for media opportunities. Sometimes journalists will post interview call outs which you can monitor and offer your clients as sources.
Be an active member of a group: If you notice a few key journalists are part of a LinkedIn group you should also join this group. By participating in the group’s discussions and providing expert advice the journalists may notice you as a great source to interview. By joining a group you can also direct message other members of the group even if you’re not connected. This is a great way to introduce yourself to a journalist without being too assertive.
Answer questions: Journalists have been known to use the ‘answers’ section on LinkedIn to find out more information about a story they are covering or to look for people to interview. Look for questions in this section you or your client could answer. By providing expert advice you can position yourself as an expert in your field and hopefully get noticed by a journalist looking for sources. You can even answer questions posted by journalists and be as helpful as possible.
Often it may not be appropriate to pitch a story to a journalist via LinkedIn, especially if you don’t know them. However these tips can help you get noticed by a journalist on LinkedIn and enable you to start a relationship with them. You can then build this relationship so the next time you pitch them a story via email they will know who you are.
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Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.