Seven Tips for a Striking Publicity Pitch

Social media has forever altered the way in which people communicate, says Gini Dietrich in her Vocus webinar, State of the Media Report 2014. People no longer wait for traditional outlets to deliver news; they find it themselves. They then visit traditional news sources to confirm the news is true.

State of the Media 2014 Newspaper

Traditional outlets have noticed the trend and are implementing digital. Many reporters use social media in much the same way that some people use police scanners: they skim social news feeds to find stories and sources. In addition, they use social media to engage with readers and to promote their work.

Here are three ways reporters have started adopting social media:

1. Research

Journalists use social media to monitor their competition and newsworthy events on a local, national and global scale. When they monitor competition, they do aim, according to Gini, to “scoop” stories. Their main priority, however, is to find interesting topics, story angles and sources.

Social Media - Research - State of the Media

2. Engagement

Journalists also use social media to engage with their readers. They don’t have to wait for op eds to know what their readers think; their readers let them know directly (sometimes vehemently) on channels like Twitter. Those interactions benefit reporters. They may hear points of contention, but they may just receive new information that builds upon the published story or leads to the writing of a new one.

Social Media Engagement - State of the Media 2014

3. Promotion

Many journalists receive compensation for increased page views, so they are deeply invested in promoting their work. Not only that, they want sources who can help with promotion. The end result isn’t merely monetary compensation; promoting the work provides journalists with more readers, potential sources and new story topics.

State of the Media Report - Pitching

By doing the following, PR professionals can use those three elements to increase their chances of having a pitch accepted:

  1. Cultivate relationships through social media. Social media will move media relations faster, but time is still required. As Gini says, “Media relations hasn’t changed. We just have different tools at our disposal.”
  2. Use email to make your pitches. Most journalists don’t want to receive pitches on social because they fear being scooped. In addition, they often prefer to have a reference archive, a thing that is difficult, if not impossible, to create on social.
  3. Make visuals a part of your pitches. Some news outlets make visuals the responsibility of their reporters, many of whom don’t have the time or the skillset to produce quality images. If you have the ability, say that you will accompany an accepted pitch with images or video.
  4. Pitch radio stations with clients who have large social followings. Radio stations have joined the digital era and are looking for ways to integrate social into their programs. If you believe radio would benefit your client, pitch radio stations. It’s a win-win for both parties.
  5. Offer research that supports or contradicts trending news. If you have a reputable source, share it in your pitch. Journalists are just as skeptical as the next person when it comes to receiving a pitch about a trending news item. They need and desire evidence.
  6. Use multimedia in your pitches. This point is similar to number three, but multimedia offers even more options. Multimedia can be used as “behind-the-scenes” content or be repurposed for other stories and online spaces.
  7. Help promote stories by sharing them with your network. If a journalist you wish to pitch writes a story with applicability to you or a client, share it. Similarly, if your pitch is accepted, share the finalized piece with your own networks and on your client’s. The journalist and your client will thank you.

Gini says the current state of the media is just the beginning. Traditional and digital will continue to merge, resulting in experimentation with digital in general and native advertising in particular. Mobile will also take on a more pivotal role and make news simultaneously local and global.

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My #YourHuffTweet via The Huffington Post Was Winning Tweet!

Can any of your Social Media Marketing connections say they were RT’d by the @HuffingtonPost?? Probably NOT! 😀

I won a #socialmedia #publicrelations contest hosted by the Huffington Post on Twitter!! I feel affirmed by the news website, as someone who loves social media and is astute in public relations — my aptitude has been proven!

So how and what did I win? Quite simple. The Hufftington Post put out a tweet asking its followers the following:

HuffingPostTweet Contest

So I decided to participate… I thought this would be fun, a great way to sharpen my skills and a chance to get RT’d by The Huffington Post. RT = Retweeted: Is a great way to show appreciation for someone’s content, it’s re-publishing something another Twitter user has written.

What makes this contest so great is The Huffington Post hardly ever RT’s anyone, and if it does; they ONLY RT their other Huffington Post aggregate sites (i.e. HuffPostBiz, HuffPostComedy etc. and editors). So that’s why I’m so excited!! They received 100’s of  entries amid their 2.6 million followers and I WON! I had the winning tweet.

HuffingPostTweet Contest (Winner)

Later that evening I checked my twitter — I saw a host of RT’s from others, acquired new followers, acquired favorites of the tweet — I was ecstatic! Feels good to know you’re really good… enough to get a shout from The Huffington Post 🙂

– Sabrina

My Winning Tweet!

LinkedIn Etiquette #Cybercreep

You’re on LinkedIn… you’re job searching …and you’re trying to figure out the best way to position yourself to attract recruiters & new connections to your profile; on this massive social media platform of 4million professionals. So what do you do?  

Craft an appealing LinkedIn profile that will attract people… OK.

Work on your LinkedIn SEO to move to the top of the search engine results….GOOD..VERY GOOD.

Do your research to make sure you’re effectively branding yourself… GOOD JOB!

Research how others/your competition are positioning themselves, so that you can set yourself apart … GOOD NOTION.

Totally Swagger Jack Your Competition’s LinkedIn Profile because you think it will position you better …..SCREEEEAAATTCHHH!!

Wait …No that won’t be good, that’s not right, but who’s going to stop you? Well….no one, but what if the person that you are Swagger Jacking finds out? Then What? What’s the protocol for trying to steal someone’s thunder on LinkedIn? Why Do It?  It’s like you don’t have a personality to present of your own?!

Well, Blog Readers that’s just what happened to me. A young lady asked to connect with me on LinkedIn  about 3-4 weeks back. She and myself are in the same Public Relations / Communications / Community Relations / Marketing arena here in Charlotte, NC. We’re both looking for employment in the same field, so we’re both probably targeting the same companies and people….sounds harmless enough. I wasn’t intimidated as I perused and scanned her LinkedIn profile,  and I accepted the connection. I kept in mind that I needed to be on my “A Game” in every regard, since we were both in the same pool. I looked at her profile, groups, saw a few that I thought I could be interested in…. joined like two, but soon left the groups because they weren’t information engaging enough for me (I just saw the name, and it sounded like a great group) ..impulsive I know.

So now we’re connected… and just by viewing her posts in the public forum, I quickly determined that I didn’t find a lot of value in her postings. But she was an interesting connection. Soon after, I began to take notice that she would view my profile more often (on LinkedIn you can see who looks at your profile unless they are anonymous). It quickly turned into every other day, and sometimes everyday…and I would tell my friends from back home, and my friend in Charlotte about this #cybercreep that keeps looking for something on my LinkedIn profile. My friends and I laughed it off initially, and said just watch her, she’s trying to steal your….whatever it is…I’m like how do I watch her on LinkedIn?!

TO CLARIFY: I DON’T have any qualms with people viewing my profile AT ALL…that’s what you’re supposed to do, I do it…however every other day, a few times everyday, then you began to wonder why, and what are they doing? I soon noticed that her LinkedIn connections increased very quickly, and she and I had more “In Common” Connections ….you can figure that out.  However she kept on viewing my LinkedIn profile.  I’m thinking: OK GIRL /LADY NOW YOU ARE CREEPING ME OUT!

So I finally decided to view her LinkedIn profile, because I hadn’t viewed it since our initial connection…and I was just floored. This girl has totally stolen my style!! I remember initially reading her summary when we first connected. And now I found it eerily odd  how similar our LinkedIn summaries were. #CREEPY  I get it…you’re job searching too…but you have to create a personality niche for yourself, as I did. Because what if you don’t come off as the person that you say you are “in person” ?

So now I’m mad….very annoyed…and just out right creeped out! I call my mentor here in Charlotte (who she also connected with on LinkedIn), and I asked him for his advice. Do I remove the connection? …I mean she can still see my public profile, but if I restrict my information… I’m only hurting myself. My mentor says it’s not like you guys are friends “FIRE HER!” – Donald Trump style…LMAO!!! So I said okay…if she views at it again today, I will remove the connection….SHE DID, she looked at it again. (true story) …and I just said fudge it…consider it a  compliment, I didn’t remove the connection.

Yet, instead I tweeted about it, and I got a few responses, some funny ones from people feeling my frustration. Now, knowing that she was probably looking at those tweets or my linked post about me writing a piece on LinkedIn etiquette , she must have had a conscience and seen that I was essentially talking about her “doings”, and SHE ended the LinkedIn connection, but not before she viewed my file once more…LOL!! Kind of ironic her ending the linkedin connection the day I talk about “writing a piece on linkedin etiquette” She’s probably reading this… But if she is… here’s to you: Lady, Girl, Young Lady ….I’m very observant, tech savvy, and attuned to what’s going on … I knew from the first two instances you viewed my profile, that you were going to be an annoyance. You connected with my connections, looking to bring your LinkedIn numbers up, that essentially makes you a serial connector, because you had not a hint of relationship with any of them and you tried to jack my style. NOT COOL!  Ok, so everyone doesn’t know all of their LinkedIn connections… I don’t, but I think it’s important for me to cultivate a social media relationship with them…I’m a big proponent of relationships/rapport building. I want people to KNOW who I am.

What you should have done is slowly build the relationship with me and ask for tips, made me aware that you wanted to model your profile off of mine, that would have been totally acceptable. I talked to my mentor about you, he said he didn’t know who you were, but he connected, because he seen that “I” was the mutual connection. Instead you just took it, and now you’ve burnt your bridges with me w/o even meeting me yet….we will meet, because Charlotte Black Public Relations Pros isn’t that big of a pool.

I work hard …and I think you should learn how to do that same w/o being the LinkedIn #cybercreep!

Blog Readers: I’d love to hear your thoughts!