How to interact with journos online

By Brock Goodhill

Back in the day, before media databases like Influencing and MediaConnect, the trickiest part of any PR campaign was finding out the journalists’ contact details.

Nowadays with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, the hardest part is working out when and how to interact with them in a way that’s respectful, effective and not annoying!

If you’re still perfecting the art of engaging with journos on social media, here are some hot tips from the Tonic team:

1. Who’s on what?

Of your media list, figure out who are using social media and which platforms (generally Instagram and Twitter) they’re using.

2. How active are they?

For those that are using social media, work out how many times a week they’re posting. If daily or even a couple of times a week, perfect! If not, it’s probably best to keep engaging with them via traditional methods like email and phone.

3. What’s their interaction like?

This might take a bit of research and scrolling but find out if they’re actively engaging with PR people and brands. This will determine how you interact with them and on what platform.

Once you’ve done that, here’s our do’s and don’ts:

DO:

  • Make contact via a personal account. Journos prefer interacting with humans rather than an email address or a brand. It’s easier to maintain an ongoing relationship with them when they can put a face to a name.
  • Like and comment. Just like you and I both do, media LOVE it when they get a like, comment or a retweet on social media. It’s a subtle way of letting them know that you have an interest in what they’re up to in and outside of work.

DON’T:

  • Don’t go over the top with the likes and comments. If it would freak you out, it’s most likely going to freak them out.
  • It’s important for you and journalists to keep work and play separate. Keep all pitches to an email or a phone call, and social interaction to the online feeds!