How to Keep Up in PR: Lessons from a Digital Media Hybrid

By: Tammy Olson, Associate, Digital Brand Lab

I came to Eastwick fresh off several digital and social media focused jobs, with the goal of bolstering my traditional media relations chops to complement my integrated skill set. Digital-media skills are necessary for companies to compete in this integrated world, so here are four work hacks I’d like share to fellow communication practitioners, as a result of sitting on two sides of the fence.

You can pitch without writing an email. Rather than sending a reporter a quote via email, try getting your spokesperson on camera to film a quick reaction, ideally under 90 seconds. These days, there really is no more compelling call-to-action than a play button. In fact, research has found that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%. Get creative, throw out the playbook and figure out a way to make a reporter care without writing a long-winded email. (Pro tip: you can even record and send a 30 second clip via

Practice social listening when pitching a timely topic. I was recently pitching a story with an IoT related angle, so I used a social listening tool to search “IoT.” I filtered for “most authoritative” and scanned what the most influential people were saying about the topic that day. I found a Twitter chat that was specifically talking about IoT and the reporter ended the conversation by inviting comments or questions. I sent him a short direct message on Twitter and then followed up with a more detailed email.

Use Twitter to aggregate public or private Twitter lists of reporters or influencers. For every event one of my clients is participating in, I like to create a Twitter list with other speakers, attendees or media so I can easily scroll through to identify areas of the conversation where my client can jump in. You can setup specific streams for an event or topic using Tweetdeck, this way you can scan relevant hashtags or groups of people in organized streams of content.

Over-communicate media hits. Don’t forget to loop in social and website teams after a nice piece of coverage publishes. It’s important integrate seamlessly with all communication teams, regardless if they are within Eastwick or another agency. This will give your awesome media hit more legs with a Tweet from the company handle, feature on the website, or even a push from a content marketing tool like Outbrain. Develop a solid flagging process with your client; making sure everyone that should be is on that distribution list.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve? I’d love to hear them on Twitter: @tammyolson16 or, my favorite app, Snapchat: tammyolson16

Interested in launching a creative and integrated marketing campaign in 2016? Ping Eastwick’s Digital Brand Lab at

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