"I don't have any contacts"
"I don't know where to find media opportunities"
"I don't know what makes a good story"
These are all common concerns that crop up when people are getting started with PR and looking to secure their own media coverage. And the solution to all of these issues lies in Twitter....
Twitter is ones of the least used platforms when it comes to marketing. But when it comes to PR - it's the place to be.
Not another platform!
Don't worry - you don't need to use Twitter to churn out more content. But you can use it strategically to start building relationships with journalists and find your first media opportunities.
Here's some top tips to get you started on Twitter
Make sure you optimise your bio so it's really clear what you do and who you work with. You don't have a lot of characters to play with, so keep it concise. Add links to your website and your main social platform. Add a headshot, so people can see who you are! Use your real name - or brand name. You can also use the banner to add more info on your business or create a call to action - apps like Canva will help you design a cover picture that fits.
If you're just getting started, or want to start using Twitter with a focus on PR, then I suggest you curate your feed. Follow the journalists you want to connect with and the outlets and publications you want to get featured in. This will allow you to see the types of topics they cover and the style of articles they publish. The less people you follow, the less you'll have to scroll and the more relevant the content will be!
The search function on Twitter is great - you can search 'journalist' or 'editor' + your subject area or name of the publications you want to be featured in and filter it by 'People' to start finding relevant contacts. For example, search 'Health Editor Stylist' or 'Freelance Journalist Wellbeing' and you'll easily find the people you need to be connecting with. Journalists often tweet calls for expert comment, so you'll have access to media opportunities just by following them.
You don't need to create new content for Twitter but you can use your feed for sharing your expert opinion. If a story breaks that's relevant to your industry - re-tweet an article sharing a comment that gives your opinion on the matter. If you read an article you love, retweet it and tell us why. If you read something you really don't agree with - retweet it and explain the other side of the story. Retweeting the work of journalists you want to connect with and sharing your praise can be part of building connections - but be genuine about it!
The Hashtag #JournoRequest is used by journalists looking for expert comment. Search the hashtag and filter by 'latest' as these opportunities tend to move fast. If you don't respond quickly, someone else will. You can also use the hashtag #PRrequest to pitch your story to a wider audience, however it's not something I recommend. The more targeted and relevant your pitches, the more likely they are to get picked up.
To find out more about pitching to the media, download my free guide 'How to Pitch to the Press'