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You've heard the complaints about LinkedIn. Maybe you've said all this yourself:
Isn't LinkedIn just an online Rolodex?
I don't have time for another social network.
I'm not looking for a job, so why would I be on LinkedIn?
Lori Russo, managing director of Stanton Communications, has a piece of advice for you: "Just get over it." The tool
is absolutely focused on business and professional communications.
You need to be on LinkedIn, she says in the Ragan Training video "How to get media attention on Twitter and LinkedIn." The session
also features Michael McManus, director of PR and social media at Sodexo.
Why the urgency about LinkedIn? Two reasons, Russo says: "First, your competitors haven't figured it out either, so you have an opportunity to get a leg up
and learn it and use it in ways that they don't know how to do yet. The other reason is that they have figured it out, and you're late."
Besides, journalists are on it, and they're using it as a research tool. They use it to get leads on company news. Example: When people land a new job,
often the first thing they do is update their LinkedIn profile. Which is why that reporter found out about the story before you even issued your press
This video clip is taken from the Ragan Training session, "How to get media attention on Twitter and LinkedIn."
So, here are some tips for LinkedIn:
1. Start with the reporters you know
Think about the platform as another way to get your message in front of reporters. If you first link to scribes you know, they will trust you (we hope) and
connect you with their network.
If there's someone you want to connect with but don't know, ask one of your connections for an introduction.
2. Make yourself more findable
Many people list only their title, such as "PR manager." Add some more industry keywords about yourself so that reporters looking for sources find you.
Russo's title is, "Strategic Communications, Marketing & PR—Managing Director, Mid-Atlantic at Stanton Communications."
3. Add content to your profile
Publications, videos, and PowerPoint presentations will pull in journalists who are searching for experts. Russo tucked in several PowerPoint presentations
about LinkedIn, and she got a call from a reporter who was working on a story about the platform.
"I see that you speak a lot on it and have ideas about it," he told her. "Can I talk to you for a story I'm working on?"
[RELATED: Get advanced writing and editing tips from Mark Ragan and Jim Ylisela.]
4. Share updates that position you as a leader
Use LinkedIn to keep your presence scrolling for your contacts to see—but don't make it all about me, me, me. Also post updates that aren't
necessarily about your organization but are relevant to the work you do and your network, Russo says.
Users who update LinkedIn at least once a week are 10 times more likely to be called for opportunities to speak, write, or talk to reporters.
Russo's firm uses LinkedIn a lot in our company to drive traffic to its corporate blog, as well.
5. Beef up your organization's pages
Your organization's pages offer messaging possibilities many organizations don't fully use. The hedder image is a billboard that journalists will see it.
If you have a new campaign, product, or senior leader, you can put it there.
"A lot of organizations don't do anything with their company pages," she says, "and I think that's a big missed opportunity there."
Add tags for your products and services. Again, post your videos, white papers, and case studies. Get your executives to do the same. Remember, your people
are your pathway to your organization on LinkedIn, and if the people are leading the visitor somewhere, you want them not to have to leave the platform to
"I like to say you can treat it as your company newsroom," Russo says.
Russell Working is a staff writer at Ragan Communications.