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Best PR Practices When Targeting Nationals via Social Media

Submitted by on May 3, 2010 – 3:52 pmNo Comment

Are you tweeting or using social media to try to get your story picked up by a national television outlet? A national broadcast interview can yield millions of eyeballs on your story and help propel you in your prospective field of expertise. Social media is used by all national outlets; however, they use social media to track stories and trends, not necessarily accept a blatant “pitch”. 

In talking personally with several top national news outlets last week, I had the chance to ask them how they use social media and what they look for. Here is their feedback:

  1. CBS News – they don’t accept pitches via social media and prefer to only use email. If you have a relationship with someone, pick up the phone or send them a personal message.
  2. ABC News – they use every format of social media to monitor trends and stories. None of their social media use for producers is formalized. They watch Twitter and Facebook for hot stories.  They also monitor feedback from their online sites and try to respond timely to keep stories relevant.
  3. CNN – they try to be in every social media space possible. They also monitor Twitter and specifically mentioned using Tweet Deck for content leads and generating story ideas. 

What does this mean for you and your stories? 

Make your tweets count because you never know who might be reading them; use rich content that would engage and interest a reporter; be a trend setter and a news story breaker; and direct your comments back to a client or expert they can use as a resource for a story. But don’t make a direct pitch.

When it comes to pitching, all producers I spoke with prefer email pitches or a direct message by phone, not via Twitter or Facebook.