As an old school Public Relations professional I still depend way too much on the Press Release. Although I believe the Press Release is still a valuable tool there are other venues for reaching an audience and in today’s academic world of social media there are new tools to be schooled on every day.
Public Relations professionals must learn to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and proficiently in order to step into the line of sight of the reporters we plan to pitch. We need to begin refining our social media skills now. The late bell will have already rung if we wait unit right before we are promoting a big story, introducing a product or selling our latest service. Establishing ourselves as a credible resource to a reporter begins months before the actual pitch. Start immediately by using social media to build relationships and personal rapport.
Later we can harvest that relationship and our efforts by reaching out to reporters as a friend rather than just another Public Relations rep touting the latest and greatest there is to offer. Lisa Barone, Vice President of Strategy at Overit also suggests using paid sites like muckrack where for a monthly fee we can identify who the reporters, bloggers and influencers are that would have interest in our pitch and also find the best way to reach them. Other free social sites such as LinkedIn offers an Advanced Search features that can also help us to do our homework on the reporters we are trying to reach. Through LinkedIn Advanced Search we can verify the size of the reporter’s audience, the amount of traffic their web sites experiences and their influence over followers.
Once we know how to reach the right reporters why not try non-traditional ways to get their attention by using videos, blogs, articles, infographics, animation and even e-books. It’s the new school way to use social to identify who is who and then staying social by keeping their interest.
Google Alerts, Twitter Search and Chrome Extension Mentions are free apps that can help us search out content. I have been using Google Alerts for some time now and find it easy to use. You just put in what you are searching for like “your name” “product name” or “company name” and every time the name appears in the media you are alerted via email.
Sending out a Press Release then using online tools like Google Alerts, and Hootsuite can help us keep it going. Old school mixed with new, will help us keep the story alive longer, and if we have used our social media academia correctly, even graduate our content to the next level.