how brands should engage journalists on social media

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  1. 1. How brands should engage journalists on social media Samuel Dunsiger PodCamp Toronto 2015 #PCTO15 Twitter: @samdunsiger
  2. 2. Who am I? A freelance writer and communications consultant, Ive been on both sides of media relations. Ive done pitching and PR for various brands, non-prots and startups, and Ive been pitched. Ive seen good and bad pitches; short, compelling pitches and ones that read like novels. @samdunsiger
  3. 3. A bit of what youll learn! How digital media affects both sides of media relations How you can engage journalists on social media Which platforms you should use Should you pitch journalists on social media? The implications of CASL on pitching media
  4. 4. How has digital media affected the way communications and journalists work?
  5. 5. Im on [social media] almost non-stop. Maybe too muchon my desktop and mobile. It alerts me to breaking stories, allows me to promote my work, helps me track down sources and lets me communicate directly with readers. Its become indispensable. - Michael Rand, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  6. 6. Calling all sources!
  7. 7. (Source: Indiana School of Journalism 2014)
  8. 8. (Source: Indiana School of Journalism 2014)
  9. 9. Hey! What about brands?! Brands are creating their own stories and becoming publishers themselves. Hello, content marketing!
  10. 10. Case Study: Coca-Cola Journey
  11. 11. But (Source: Chad Pollitt, Co-founder of, 2014)
  12. 12. What is media relations? The relationship between brands, PR folks and journalists = mutually benecial. It isnt just about pitching, but managing relationships. Publicity is the end game! Social media offers so many ways to harassI mean, build those relationships withthem.
  13. 13. Okay, so how should I connect with journos? Learn about their interests and beats. Many reporters list what they cover in their Twitter bio. Comment on their stories and offer feedback. Offer resources for other stories sources, tips, etc. Get to know them before reaching out.
  14. 14. Pitching journos on social media? The million-dollar question: should you pitch journalists on social media? Yay or nay?
  15. 15. It starts with a good story. Have a good news hook. Be sociable. Think about their needs.
  16. 16. Key to a good news story: public interest. Just because you nd it interesting doesnt mean others necessarily will. Your CEOs Klout score isnt news!
  17. 17. What else makes a good news story? An unexpected or unique angle Timeliness Human interest (proles, etc) Proximity
  18. 18. Be personal. Create a conversation and highlight why your story would benet them! Make it about them - not you!
  19. 19. Get to the point quickly! Perk of pitching via Twitter: it forces you to tell exactly what the story is in less than 140 characters.
  20. 20. Dos and donts of pitching Do Dont Your homework! Get to know the journalist and their beat Publicly tweet same pitches to multiple contacts Personalize your pitch Tweet a generic note Include a link if pitching from Twitter Facebook message them Engage on ongoing basis Follow up on one platform from your pitch from another Be social! Just connect with them to pitch Be strategic Simply push yourself onto them Think about them!
  21. 21. WaitWhat about CASL?! The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) can pertain to pitching media when promoting a person/organization offering services. In case youre wonderingimplied consent = if pitching guideline or contact info is readily available on the site, their Twitter bio, etc.
  22. 22. Above all, remember its still about being human and sociable. Youre managing relationships!
  23. 23. The end/Q+A Samuel Dunsiger @samdunsiger


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