How To Pitch To Journalists Using Twitter
While email pitching a reporter is the best way to get a journalist’s eyes on your story or project, there are other methods using social media including Twitter. In reading this post, you’ll clearly understand how interior designers can learn how to pitch journalists using Twitter.
Being an interior designer coach and education, I encourage designers to soft pitch their latest design project photos via Twitter DM. Slowly building a foundation for your next feature and not overwhelming a journalist with too much information is always helpful. As an interior designer, we are often reminded that every project starts by planning on a solid foundation, the same is right for pitching projects to journalists on Twitter. Sharing a project image might be tempting, but throwing it out without a plan and genuine relationship with journalist could burn your chances of getting published to the ground especially on Twitter.
Taking on any new project and making a design plan is critical. As interior designers or architects, we don’t order or recommend furniture without taking measurements and applying the pieces to an appropriately scaled floor plan. The same goes for planning how you will reach out to journalists on Twitter.
Follow these critical steps before pitching a journalist on Twitter or before you reach out to request an email address:
1. Identify a specific journalist to reach out to via Twitter.
Before you start reaching out to a journalist or publication, identify whom you should reach out to. The best way for interior designers to find the journalists or writers is to make a note of the column or magazine sections where your work or pitch will work best. Think of reaching out to the perfect realtor to help sell a house. The same goes for looking for the appropriate journalist to pitch your completed design project. In PR terms, this is called the pitching “angle.” The angle should be a natural fit in collaboration with your photography or project.
2. Cultivate a relationship with a journalist on Twitter.
Create a relationship with targeted journalists, columnists, authors, & writers. List all of your favorite journalists in a spreadsheet along with their Twitter (and other social media) handles, blog URL and email addresses.
3. Create Twitter lists to help easily communicate with journalists on Twitter.
Follow all your targets on Twitter, saving them in a dedicated Twitter list that you can refer back to them later.
To create a list, visit your Lists page via the gear icon drop-down menu or by clicking Lists on your profile page. A – Then click Create List.
B – Name the List & provide a description.
C- Designate the List as Public or Private. D – Save the List.
4. Search for journalists to add to Twitter lists.
Expand your list of journalists by browsing their Twitter lists. Also, use tools like BuzzSumo to identify relevant influencers and bloggers by keyword. You can even follow them directly via BuzzSumo, and save them to your list, assuming you’ve connected your Twitter account. BuzzSumo also lets you tweet them directly – though I don’t recommend doing that at this early stage.
Now find out what interests your target journalists. When trying to pitch to UK publications and sources, check the hashtag #Journorequest to get some insight into what journalists are looking for. Even better, use relevant keywords alongside the tag, to narrow down the opportunities to make contact.
5. How to create & add journalist to Twitter lists.
Add the journalists to a defined Twitter list by clicking CREATE NEW LIST. Name your list and choose to keep it public so that everyone on your staff can view it or choose private to keep the list confidential. For interior designers, I recommend you keep the list private. If you want easy access to handles you should add to a list, comment with the subject of your industry and goals below and we’ll share a link to Twitter journalists list available for purchase.
6. Clean up your Twitter account.
Get your own house in order! Before you start to draw attention to yourself or tweet journalists, make sure your Twitter bio stands out. Ask yourself, if a journalist were to land on my Twitter bio, “What would they think of my Twitter account at first glance? Does it speak about me personally? As a brand? What sets me apart from another designer”, architect,” home stager, an artist out there?”
Twitter business bios should get to the point of who you are as a brand. Go beyond products and services. Focus on your vision and core values; this speaks volumes to journalists. Much more than the projects you’re trying to pitch or products that you’re trying to sell.
Scroll through your Twitter feed. Look at the last 20 or 30 posts in your feed. Are you proud of the content in your feed? Does the content reflect your brand’s persona? If not, it’s time to clean house!
Know you are not alone. If you’re like me and have been streaming content from LinkedIn and Facebook to your Twitter; Realize this does provide an enormous number of tweets. It does not look good because Twitter does NOT populate images from other sites. I’m going to be taking my advice and cleaning up my personal account @ChristiTasker and my blog twitter account @PSthisRocks. Considering my Linkedin account, Twitter accounts, and Pinterest accounts all provide a ton of leads for me, I’m somewhat upset with myself for not cleaning these up earlier.
7. How much of what type of content should you post on Twitter?
For our PuTTin’ OuT content marketing clients, we follow a 5:3:2 rule of thumb to help balance the appropriate amount of content. Out of twenty posts, ten should be sharing (aka caring) other people’s content, six should be your own products/projects/promos, and two should be fun items that humanize your brand. The fun content should be humorous yet on point with your brand’s message. Think of using fun Boomerang videos, slow-mos, memes, or other funny images with added text using phone applications such as Adobe Spark, from your Instagram stories, or Canva. I’ll recommend more creation and publishing tools and solutions later if you need them? Comment below if you would like some specific suggestions.
8. Plan your Twitter content.
Okay! Housekeeping is over, and the party is about to start! You’re the host! Get READY! Set! POST! Follow the 5:3:2 rule and plan your Twitter content. Now it’s time for you to put on your own Editor’s cap. Journalists will appreciate your personal good humor by not having to read every Facebook or LinkedIn post that may have been auto-published to your Twitter feed.
9. How to communicate with journalists on Twitter.
Before you send your first DM to a journalist, read the tweets. Click through to their feature stories. Comment on the stories. Acknowledge their work with a tweeted comment on their tweet. Favorite a tweet from time to time. Focus on being interested (in them) and not interesting. Share their stories by retweeted (RT).
RT their tweet but keep in mind….your retweet could go completely unnoticed if others are also retweeting the same tweet. Whenever possible, add a comment to your retweet, preferably with a unique angle. Moreover, be sure to include the appropriate hashtags and the journalist’s Twitter handle. This way, they’re more likely to see your comment.
Now….you’re ready to start DMing journalist with 280 of the most powerful characters of your career. Make them turn their heads the first time. Whatever you do, do NOT DM journalist on a daily or weekly basis. Do NOT stalk them with constant mentions on your tweets. Only follow up on DM messages once. Journalists most likely received your project but they may not have a fit for it at the moment. Heck! They may not like it at all. It’s okay! If you’ve designed it and have pitched it to every possible publication or journalist that you like yet no one picks it up, don’t give up. Publish it to your own blog or start reaching out to bloggers beginning with the essential blogs first.
10. Find journalists who call out opportunities on Twitter.
Spot journalism callouts. There are plenty of opportunities to join the conversation or help the journalist fulfill authoritative roles in their articles. In the US there is a site called HARO (Help a Reporter Out). If you want to dive deeper into pitches but this is not one single hashtag it’s best to start your search with #Journalist. In the UK, search the hashtag #Journorequest daily to see if new journalists or writers may need a designer or to fulfill a story that they are writing. Journalists always need credible sources to provide comments and expert advice. Reach out when your expertise is requested.
11. Build your house on the right Twitter property, build in #hashtag city.
Know how real estate is all about location, location, location? Well, your tweet is all about hashtags. Even in the comments, use relevant hashtags. When you’re posting a public relations worthy tweet with a link to a press release, use the hashtag #PR. When posting an inspirational design, use the room hashtag. It is best to use hashtags within the written text and limiting the number of hashtags to a total of three.
12. Learn how to research hashtags to broaden your reach on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, & other social media sites.
If you’re wondering how hashtags work or how to use them to capture a wider audience, click here to learn more about to research hashtags.
I hope that you find the advice in this post extremely helpful in obtaining your next feature. I look forward to seeing your name in lights soon!
If you have questions or other recommendations that should be added to this post along with any grammatical corrections, we welcome your comments below. Thanks so much for your time in reading and in commenting – it’s the only way we know the content being delivered is useful to you!