Most writers (bloggers, popular publications, etc.) are on social media. It’s a great way for them to collect news. It’s also a great way for them to grow their personal brand, giving them the ability to launch their own publication in the future, if they so desire.
The best way to do PR is to build relationships with these writers. This doesn’t mean bombarding them with news articles, but actually reading what they write and helping them grow as a writer.
FOLLOW POPULAR PUBLICATIONS (INCLUDING BLOGS) ON TWITTER THAT ARE LIKELY TO COVER YOUR COMPANY.
Search for publications that cover your industry sector, or have written about your competitors and partners.
FOLLOW WRITERS ON TWITTER WHO ARE MOST LIKELY TO WRITE ABOUT YOUR COMPANY.
Search for writers who wrote about articles that relate closely to your company (eg. If you have a nightlife mobile app, identify writers who have written articles titled “best 10 mobile apps for nightlife”). On some publications and articles, they’ll point you to the Twitter account of the writer. Otherwise, you can usually find them by googling “firstname lastname on Twitter”, maybe include the publication they write for to refine your search.
It’s good to be aware of the writer’s personal use of Twitter. Reading their profile and past tweets should give you a sense of whether or not they’re using it for professional growth.
SHARE ARTICLES THAT RELATE TO YOUR BUSINESS ON TWITTER AND MENTION THE WRITER’S TWITTER HANDLE.
The format I usually follow is: quick comment. article title. http://link~ via @writerhandle #relevanthashtags. A quick comment means you’re adding to the conversation, rather than just spreading it. Mentioning the writer gives them credit and exposure, while also notifying them of your interest in them. Including relevant hashtags will give your company, the article, and the writer additional exposure.
IF THEY RESPOND, REPLY WITH A SHORT FRIENDLY TWEET.
No need to jump their bones at the first sign of correspondence. If they thank you, say “you’re welcome, we love your articles!” No need to say more.
DON’T ASK FOR COVERAGE, OFFER STORIES.
If you’ve read their articles and have had a few correspondences with a writer, you should feel comfortable offering them your company as a story. Don’t be pushy, say something like, “We think we have a good story. If you’d be interested in covering us, don’t hesitate to reach out!” It’s good to have a new and exciting story (product launch, super cool new feature, etc.), no writer wants to write an old story.
BE GENUINE AND HUMBLE.
If you don’t actually read or like their articles, don’t tell them you do. This is also an exercise that should help align the focus of your business. Every time you share a story, ask yourself, “is this us?” Keep track of which articles are getting the most activity (clicks, retweets, replies) to see what types of articles your followers like most. If you listen closely, over time, you’ll get an intuitive understanding of your community beyond the scope of analytics.
Notice how we’re not asking for anything? That’s the point, you’ll get what you give.
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