4 tips for building reporter relationships on Twitter

Reporters have less time for in person visits, but reaching out on Twitter can help fill part of that void. Here are the finer details.

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For me, this joyful moment happens when three elements come together in unison: a great pitch, a solid relationship with a reporter, and the right timing.

Once upon a time, great media relationships were built over lunches, press conferences, phone calls, and in-person media tours. But times have changed and so has PR. Today, while phone calls still matter a great deal, in-person meetings are rare. The good news is that we now have Twitter, and it’s a huge, untapped asset for building relationships with reporters.

There are, in my opinion, four major ways PR professionals should be taking advantage of Twitter to help create media coverage opportunities:

1. Remember that reporters are people, too.

They hang out on Twitter, tweeting about sports and music, where they are heading for the weekend, their kids, cats, neighbors, in-laws, movies and so on. So converse with them, just like you would anyone else on Twitter. All work and no play is dull. Get in there with some chitchat about common interests, opinions, the weather, the Red Sox, whatever. Have a dialog. Relate to each other. Make a connection. Be funny, engaging, useful and authentic, but not overly sycophantic.

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