Media relations pros need to built strong relationships with journalists and provide relevant content. This has always been the case, but in a time when there are three times as many PR pros than journalists, it is more crucial than ever. Those that solely rely on mass distribution lists won’t succeed. The media landscape is changing rapidly and so is the skill set for media relations pros. Social media can help to better understand the needs of journalists and bloggers, built stronger relationships and craft more targeted pitches. Twitter, for example, offers ways to get to know journalists and interact with them that are unparalleled. Below are a few of my favorite Twitter tools for media relations. I’d be interested to learn what tools you are using. Let me know in the comments!
1. Followerwonk and tweepz
Before starting any media outreach, you need to identify journalists worth connecting with. If you already know names, you can easily find their Twitter handles on Google. Two free tools that I found helpful are Followerwonk and tweepz. Both tools let you search Twitter bios for keywords. You can organize the search results by follower count or relevance (on followerwonk.com you can also sort by Klout score).
2. Muck Rack
Muck Rack is a directory for journalists on Twitter. The page organizes journalists by beat and outlet, making it easy to find people. In addition, Muck Rack offers a daily newsletter that provides an overview of articles that are being linked to the most by journalists.
3. Twitter Lists
To first listen before you speak is always good advice, not only in social media. In media relations it is critical to first get to know a publication and journalist before pitching them. Twitter is ideal for this exercise. Journalists share plenty of information in their tweets, not only about their beat and writing but also their personality and interests. The lists feature allows you to categorize people you follow into lists, so their tweets don’t get buried in your stream. TweetDeck and Hootsuite are my favorite clients to manage Twitter lists.
4. JournalistTweets and Twilert
Google Alerts are an essential tool to monitor brand perceptions online. twilert is the Twitter version of Google Alerts. Whenever a selected key word is mentioned on Twitter, the system will send you a notification email (or you can choose to just receive a summary every day). JournalistTweets takes this concept to the next level and only alerts you of tweets mentioning a keyword if it was sent by a journalist. This allows you to monitor and join conversations of journalists around any topic or brand name you select. Very interesting for international PR pros is the fact that the site organizes journalist tweets by country and also lets you search these.