When to Tweet a Reporter (And When Not To)

How do you tell when to talk to a reporter on Twitter and when not to? Like emailing them or calling them on the phone, there are certain things to consider first. You don’t want to come off as desperate or annoying, and this can happen even if you’re trying to come off as their friend.

It’s not as complicated as it seems, though. Here are some basic rules you can follow when deciding whether to tweet to a journalist or leave them alone.

Relevant Info

One of the basic rules to any contact with a journalist if it what you’re speaking with them about is relevant information. That is, you already know that pitching them a story that’s completely non-news is a no-no, so treat other contact with them the same.

You must keep in mind how busy most journalists are. While they may throw out a tweet or two during their day, it shouldn’t give you the idea you can blast them with questions about your press release. Remember to keep it relevant.

For instance, they may ask a question about a recent news story. You absolutely should respond with an intelligent and witty reply. What you shouldn’t do is take the opportunity to ask them when your story will be in the paper or if they will give you a call. Would you want someone else to do that to you?

Develop Relationship

Twitter is a great way for you to develop a relationship with your journalist contacts. You can directly engage them in conversation and even participate in a little back scratching by retweeting their links. Take it a step further by finding their articles online and posting them – it’ll make a real impression!

Over time, this will develop a relationship between you and the journalists you wish to cultivate. This is what Twitter is best at, so use it to your full advantage. This way when you do need your important press release printed, you know your reporter friend from Twitter will give it a fair look over. This won’t happen if you bombard them with spam messages all day.

Don’t feel bad if it takes a while for the journalist to warm up to you on Twitter as well. They may get hundreds of responses to questions and tweets they post. Play it cool and try to respond with only well thought out and helpful tweets, and over time they will notice you. Once they respond or retweet you, you’re in, and it’s time to start watering that seed!

How often do you talk to journalists on Twitter?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here:

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