14 ways to use Twitter to attract journalists

A PR pro outlines how and why the site’s become an effective way to work with reporters.

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I spent 10 years as a reporter in the BT (Before Twitter) era. Now as a social media strategist and public relations professional, I’ve found Twitter to be my primary and most successful method of building and maintaining relationships with reporters. It’s brought my clients and I tens of thousands of dollars in free press coverage.

One public relations agency I work with even grew out of a connection made on Twitter. And that’s perhaps the main reason I advise every public relations professional to become a regular. Just like real life, you communicate with a large circle of professionals, but the bulk of the benefits come from just a handful of clients or connections you make over months and years.

I consider Twitter the tool that delivers tangible value in great gulps, so long as you commit to it for a year.

Skeptical? Here’s how I use it:

1. Find the reporters by searching through Muckrack.

2. Peruse the “contact us” pages of your local media outlets to track down reporters’ Twitter names. Be helpful especially when it doesn’t help you directly.

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