Connecting with and following journalists on social media is a great way to stay up to date on what's happening in the world, especially for PR professionals. There are far too many important national and local media outlets to follow individually, yet it is our responsibility as publicists and social media gurus to pay close attention to the news and position our clients as expert sources on pertinent topics.
Social media offers a unique opportunity for public relations professionals that was nonexistent a few a years ago. We now have the ability to interact and comment on trending topics as well as a reporter's coverage. This allows us to introduce our clients, or ourselves, as well as develop a relationship with a reporter through a social media platform. We have seen the benefits and advantages of this practice firsthand. One simple comment or question on social media can lead to a huge press opportunity.
For example, while taking on the persona of one of our clients on Twitter, we saw that a FOX Business reporter tweeted that she was looking for a source to comment on the fiscal cliff's impact on small business owners. Logically, we responded from our client's page that he would be a great fit for her article and would offer a unique perspective. Several direct messages later, we lined up an interview for our client with a national business reporter who otherwise would have been very difficult to track down.
As PR pros continue to take on their clients' personas via social media, it is important we interact and connect with members of the media. Simply responding to fans or customers is not enough - we need to take the initiative to be seen and heard by reporters any way we can. Social media is the perfect platform to do so.