Making Connections with the Media
Wednesday, May 24, I participated in my first Twitter chat. I joined for the #BufferChat session at noon, featuring Ramon Ray, a successful entrepreneur. The chat focus was about interacting with the media, journalists, and which channels to use to engage them. There were seven questions that we discussed, and I did not think that the topic would be as interesting as it was. I found a lot of advice that can be used across multiple disciplines, and not just used for interacting with the media, but for use in interacting with peers, and with growing my personal brand.
I plan to focus my web presence on something that I am familiar with, technology. I plan to post reviews of software, hardware, and to post quick how-to articles that will be short and sweet, but provide some valuable takeaway that will improve my follower’s daily life. I found myself hesitant to participate with original answers at the beginning of the chat, but as we progressed, there were questions that I felt as though I had enough experience to answer, and I began interacting more as the chat went on.
The main themes of the chat were to be persistent when reaching out to media professionals, provide something of value, make your point quickly, and be available for follow-up.
Sage words of advice could be found when someone said to enter the relationship with the media professional before needing something from them. Most of the conversation turned to how you can use the media to grow your brand, and speaking at live events was the best exposure that Ramon Ray said that he has ever had. Ray went on to describe creating media connections in a way that is similar to dating; it is best to think about your approach to the journalist, and do not seem too desperate, provide value, and be patient.
Most of the individuals in the conversation mentioned that they use social media to research a journalist before offering a story, to make sure that the story will be relevant to the journalist’s regular audience. Sometimes you will run into a situation where you have a good connection, to a real journalist, but because of their audience demographic not matching your message, it may not be the right avenue to use at that time. Keep searching, and if your brand or story is worthy, continue to tweak your approach, reach out to different media professionals, and eventually, you may latch on to something.