Easy Ways to Use Twitter to Boost PR Relationships


It's no secret that more and more often everyone from small business owners to the media can be found on Twitter connecting, sharing key messages, promoting their brands or seeking sources for stories.  If you're running your own DIY PR campaign it's likely you have taken to Twitter to connect with media, current and potential customers, celebrities, stylists - you name it!

If you're using this form of social media to connect with press targets you are probably doing it by re-tweeting them, attempting to engage them in Twitter conversations and so forth.  All of these are useful and necessary and the keys to starting your online relationship with them (and as we remember, PR is all about relationships), and we commend you for it.  That said, here are a few other useful ways you can use Twitter to positively impact your press relationships.

Get to know and read their content, and comment on it:  You will be hard pressed to find someone in media who doesn't share their work over their Twitter feeds. This is more or less an RSS feed you can use to stay up-to-date on their work, and when you feel moved by it, let them know! You can do this via Twitter as well!  Don't simply say "nice work" but get specific, share your fave parts! 

Use Twitter to get to know what they love, and surprise them with it: 
No, I don't mean send them a new Prada handbag or gift certificate for a Costa Rican getaway.  Very often a small gesture can go a long way with the media.  I have been known to discover an editor's favorite candy or type of wine simply by checking in on their feeds every week.  I'm not looking for this information specifically but if I see something in that vein on the feed, I take note of it in my media contact sheets and send them a surprise delivery with a note saying hello, connecting, etc.  It's a fun way to brighten their day and yet another way to connect and grow a media relationship.

Before you go in for that call or email, check to see how their work day is going...I'll explain this via the story of something that happened last week:  I really needed to connect with an editor about a story I thought she should cover, and I hadn't heard back in a few days.  To speed things up I decided to switch from emails to phone calls, but before I did this I took it to Twitter and checked in on her feed.  It turns out she had been at a shoot for the past three days and was still there, tweeting away images from the shoot.  This told me that not only was she not at work, but she was clealry a bit distracted and not at a place to reach out to me.  I held off my emails and calls until I saw that she was back at work.

At first when I was writing these tips down I wondered "does this make me sound like a stalker", but the answer is no. It makes me sound like someone who is very invested in creating authentic, respectful relationships with my media targets and part of that means knowing them, their beat,  what they're up to, what they're interested in and so forth.  It lets me know how I can best serve them.  Not only do these things help you in the short term, but they're going to help you grow relationships for the long term as well.  On top of that, you're using information that is free and easy to come by!

Happy Tweeting!