By Mike Koehler
The days of reporters burning up the sidewalk to find out what their community is talking about are becoming more and more rare, but thanks to social networking, the media is still able to keep their ears to the “virtual” ground to get a sense of the conversations going on around town.
If you are interested in getting the message out about your business, finding traditional media through social networking with help with that. Here is your chance to get a direct line to the reporters, editors and TV personalities who can get the news about what you are doing out to the masses.
Discover Local Journalists
If you want to make the connection, first check out the Web site for the media outlet you want to connect with. Journalism’s new-found interest in social media means that you will probably find the Twitter user names for every reporter. They want to connect.
Once you’ve found them, follow them on Twitter or ask to friend them on Facebook. For the reporters, a bigger network is a better way to promote their stories, so they will quickly follow you back.
Make Sure They Cover Your Business
Be sure in this process that you are finding the appropriate reporter. Your business probably falls under a particular beat, so look for who covers your industry. Google your competitors and see which byline turns up most often.
Make a Connection
Once you’re following them online, send them an introductory message online — “nice to see you on Twitter, love to read your stories.” You want to create a relationship, which includes retweeting their messages to your network, clicking their links and paying attention to what they say. Why? Because they will often take to social media to find sources or story ideas and that’s where you can come in.
When you’ve developed that relationship look to see (on Twitter) what list that reporter is on. Often they will be listed with other reporters of your industry, either nationally or in other markets. Extending your reach to those reporters will also extend the reach of who hears about your business.
Come back each day this week for the rest of the series:
Social Media Series Part 1: How to Build an Effective Network
Social Media Series Part 2: Connect with the Traditional Media
Social Media Series Part 3: How to Best Leverage Your Expertise Online
Social Media Series Part 4: Shortcuts Keep Social Media from Taking too much Time
Social Media Series Part 5: Not all Social Media Platforms Are Created Equal (and Why)
About the Author
Mike Koehler is a social media consultant, speaker and freelance writer based in Oklahoma City, where he lives with his wife and three kids. You can follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mkokc