How to Use Social Media to Gain PR Coverage – Trendeavour
BY EMESHA NAGY
Build deep relationships by playing the long game
Lexie Smith, named “Brilliant PR Expert” and “Female Entrepreneurs in Watch in 2020”, is the Founder of THEPRBAR inc. – an online coaching brand that empowers entrepreneurs to DIY PR. Her clients have been featured on and in outlets such as Forbes, Vogue, Oprah, Inc., Shark Tank, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Entrepreneur, CNN, The LA Times, Shape, The Huffington Post, Wired…and many, many more.
Lexie suggests treating public relations as human relations. Take baby steps, and think of contacts as friends. Instead of annoying journalists with cookie-cutting emails, interact with them on social media and build relationships.
“When it comes to forging new relationships with the media, playing the “long game” approach is generally best practice. What do I mean by this? Work on building an authentic and mutually beneficial relationship that transcends one pitch exchange. Before you reach out to a writer, take the time to read through some of their recent articles. Get a firm understanding of the beat that they cover, and their overall tone as a writer. If you truly think you can be of value to them, then go ahead and do just that; reach out and offer them value. Position yourself as someone who has clearly done their research and can be a potential asset that they should want to have in their corner.
What to say in that initial email will depend on the writer, the industry, and your business, so I can’t get too specific without full context. However, I can advise that your first touch should never be an ask if at all avoidable. Post your email introduction, follow and engage with them on Twitter. (85% of journalists report that Twitter is still their preferred social media platform – Muck Rack 2020 State of Journalism Report.) From there, make an effort to stay connected on a quarterly basis, at the very least. If and when they do write about you, make sure you say thank you and help share the heck out of that article.
When does “playing the long game” become NOT best practice? When you have something incredibly time-sensitive and newsworthy to deliver. In these scenarios, feel free to skip the flattery, and get to the point. Be readily available for follow up questions, and make sure to once again thank them for their coverage.”