Media Contact and Social Media

Tonight I was putting together a spreadsheet of media contacts and realized (yet again) what unprecedented access and intelligence social media provides.

The spreadsheet included media contacts by city and columns for their web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, email and phone numbers.

I included the traditional email and phone, because currently that is the best means of contacting and pitching a story.  However, the Twitter accounts and the Facebook pages provide great insights into what is interesting to the editor/reporter/producer and how they interact with their audience.

Just as you would do your homework in finding out about a prospect before you called on them (web site, Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Google search), you should do your homework before contacting editors.  Know what stories they’ve covered.  See how they interact on Twitter.  Watch to see if they send out any Tweets asking “what’s going on?”

The key components of what makes good news doesn’t change with social media – it still has to be relevant, helpful, interesting, and timely.  What changes with social media is our ability to learn about the media outlets and the opportunity to see their requests for information and respond.