Being able to successfully develop and maintain strong relationships is vital in the public relations (PR) industry. This includes, of course, nurturing relationships with journalists, which has historically often relied on pitching on the phone, or as is much more often the case today, by email.
However, findings from The State of PR 2022 survey from Muck Rack suggest this model is changing. More than 25% of PR professionals now use Twitter, and 15% use LinkedIn as platforms for pitching to journalists, according to the survey. The research also revealed that Twitter is ranked as the second most popular channel for pitching after email.
Meanwhile, Muck Rack’s The State of Journalism 2022 survey has revealed that Twitter is the most popular platform among journalists, with 77% of them being active users. It’s clear to see therefore that Twitter can provide valuable pitching opportunities for PR professionals – an arguably more time-effective approach than waiting to hear back via email.
Twitter should also be used as a platform to engage in regular conversations with reporters and build closer relationships that can help eliminate the ‘cold’ call elements of future conversations over the phone. It’s also important to thank and @mention journalists when an article you have pitched and collaborated on goes live. This may seem like a small gesture but it can go a long way.
Making the right approach
One of the key things to have front of mind when pitching to reporters is to be timely. Research from The State of Journalism 2022 survey has revealed that 67% of journalists prefer to receive pitches between 5am and 12pm, and on Mondays. Social Media Today meanwhile, advises that all interactions with journalists across social media channels should be brief and short.
Nonetheless, it is clearly still vital to make sure you are approaching a reporter with something that is relevant to them specifically. HubSpot previously shared a round up of journalists’ worst pitch stories across all channels, and most of them illustrated a problem of PR professionals being too general or getting the information wrong, or both.
The future of pitching
Despite the growth in using social media channels to reach media, email and phone pitching is certainly not ‘dead’. Moreover, as we now emerge from the pandemic and life is returning to ‘normal’, the benefits of actually getting out to meet with reporters face to face and build rapport that way are invaluable.