By: Evangeline Enriquez
Twitter was a major player in the rise of social media, but was forced to share the spotlight as more platforms began to appear. I am here to tell you that, as a PR professional, you have to welcome Twitter back into your life with open arms as a valuable research tool, not just for sharing jokes and tracking tweets. Twitter is a hidden gem that can make your job so much easier.
Here are five tips for using Twitter as a PR research tool:
1. Stay updated when journalists move to new outlets
Keeping up with media contacts can be tricky, as journalists may move between outlets or even cities. As a professional courtesy, it is important to be up-to-date on your frequented media contacts. Journalists still use Twitter; checking in on their profiles is very necessary. Just one glance might show you they have been promoted to a new position or even moved to Bali to report on surfing.
2. Find out what industries your media contacts are focusing on
Just as it is important to stay educated about your current contacts, it is also important to research new contacts. This will save time for both you and the reporter, as you can establish beforehand whether they would be a valuable media contact willing to write on the topics you are pitching.
3. See which industry events are being attended and by whom
Twitter can be helpful in showing what kind of crowd an event will draw. Researching which journalists and even competitors are attending can better prepare you going into specific events. Once you see that they are attending a certain event, you can reach out to them with a pitch that relates your clients to the event. You can pitch them on which clients will be attending or featured in the events. It also creates the opportunity to strengthen professional relationships by inviting a meet-up once you see that a journalist is attending.
4. Research if there is any buzz regarding your client
When it comes to researching any press on your clients and their projects, there is no place like Twitter. Tweets are notoriously honest and you can get a clear picture about any existing news in the world.
5. Sometimes journalists will put out calls for pitches on Twitter
It is very possible that you may stumble upon journalists looking for pitches via Twitter. By responding to these, you are gaining an easy press opportunity. This form of pitching will also build up your reputation as a thoughtful PR professional who sends personalized pitches instead of impersonal mass emails.
If used to your advantage, Twitter is a huge helper when collecting research. Stop thinking of it simply as a platform for posting about your clients and tune in as a user yourself. Implement these suggestions and you will see how they can turn you into a more readily prepared and educated PR professional.