So you’re ready to send out that lovely press release to your media list, but what are you doing socially to support your message?
Incorporating social media as part of your PR strategy gives you a better shot at attracting the attention of reporters or travel writers and get them to cover your story or destination. You don’t have to go crazy, either. It’s pretty simple, actually.
We know more often that when a news story breaks, it typically happens on Twitter. We also know travel writers and bloggers are constantly cruising social networks for story ideas.
So how can you capitalize on this new-school method of reporting and discovery?
- Before sending your release, advisory or pitch, consider creating a Vine or Instagram video to tease your announcement in a creative way.
- Always, always, always make sure you are following the journalists and the organizations or websites they represent.
- Be proactive when sending your releases. Maybe what you have to share ties in nicely with what they are currently covering or fits into their current programming.
- Mention specific writers in tweets when it’s relevant to them. It ensures they see your social message about something they may be interested in.
- When confirming an interview with a spokesperson or journalist, include the Twitter handle of the person they will be speaking to when possible. This will help remind both parties that they could connect pre- or post-interview to further establish the relationship.
- Once you’ve earned coverage, make sure your reporter/writer is aware of appropriate accounts and hashtags. Just look at what Francis Vachon of CelebrityCafe.com did for us last year as he made his way through his Brew Central tour. Our partners got in on the act as well, providing behind-the-scenes photography.
- Speaking of which, photos are always clutch, especially in destination marketing. For example, take a photo and tweet it or post it to Instagram either pre-story or even during an interview. Show off your attractions or beautiful views across all platforms whenever possible.
- Create key messaging specifically for use on social media. If you provide reporters with a script for them to share socially, it leaves less room for errors but also reminds them to use their platforms to help push the story out. Often times, this method is often easier for them to commit to right out of the gate as opposed to a full-on coverage, so make it as easy as possible for them to tap into their followers.
- Probably one of the most useful tips is to always be “on.” Journalists scour the web for story ideas round the clock. If they see that your community is engaged or that you are always putting out relevant content they will come back to you as a source for information.
All in all, though, just keep in mind that getting noticed by a reporter or writer is much more than hitting send on your email with a Word doc attached.
You need to be a bit more creative to get their attention. Stay tuned in socially and use your communities to get the attention you want.