How to land press coverage through Twitter
Right now it might feel harder than ever to cut through the noise and get your brand featured in the press. You might also feel that you'd like to secure media coverage but you don't have the budget to employ a PR agency, or perhaps the time yourself to knock up a press release or work out which journalists you should be targeting.
That's completely understandable. So let me share one of my tips: if you're looking to boost your press coverage in a simple and free way, you can do this by simply by using Twitter. Yes, you heard me right. You may be a Twitter convert already, continually pressing upload to view the latest comments from the people you follow. Or you may think it's not for you or your company. If you're looking for media exposure, you'd be wrong. Amongst the trolls and the negativity associated with the site, there are strong reasons to be jumping on Twitter – and that includes seeing your name and company in the media. Journalists use Twitter to scout out stories, to find experts and to contact brands so it's well worth harnessing the platform as part of your media strategy.
So where to start? Here are just some of the ways to navigate the platform as outlined in this free online video, How to Tweet Your Way to Media Coverage.
- Firstly professionalise your bio
Journalists use Twitter to find experts to come and speak on the TV, or check out experts. So refrain from describing yourself as “Snooker fan. Wild swimming fan. Mother of four. CEO.” Instead, make it super professionalised by showing off your expertise. For example, like 'Founder of beauty tech startup Fresh-faced. Author of How Tech Is Taking Over The Beauty Industry.” If you've been featured in the press before include this by adding something along the lines of 'As featured in The Telegraph, Tatler and Sky News' as it just adds another level of gravitas. Some experts and founders find adding 'Press friendly' can sway journalists to contact them over others so if there's room, add this.
- Utilise #journorequest
I refer to the journorequest hashtag as a pot of gold in my course and webinars. Why? It's an easy and free way to be featured in the press without having to knock up a press release.
When a journalist is looking for a case study or an expert, often they will head on Twitter and explain what they're looking for and add #journorequest at the end. If you fit the bill, you can respond to their call-out. So for example, a journalist might say “Hi. I'm looking for someone who set up a company focused on mental health during the pandemic to come and speak on radio.” If that's you – answer the brief. Many business ownes respond and say 'That's me!' or 'Happy to speak' or 'Who is this for?' Instead, answer the brief. Journalists often receive scores of responses and will be looking for those who answer the request rather than pose more questions. Also, make sure you change the search term to 'latest' instead of 'top' because the 'top' ones are often out of date.
Also, look at how the journalist wants to be responded to. Do they want you to DM (direct message) them, email or tweet?
I regularly use #journorequest myself as a journalist but as I raise my own brand as a media trainer alongside my journalism, the shoe's been on the other foot and I've responded to journalists' requests on the platform.
As a result, recently I've featured in Glamour talking about how I started taking up online exercise when I briefly lived in Lisbon a few years back, discussed how I pivoted during the pandemic and set up my course, Power Hours, and a content network agency in Underpinned, and talked about my how I bought my flat for the Metro, which all takes me to my next point...
- Be open to discussing non-business related things
So you might have realised that my exercise regime and my flat has nothing to do with my business. You're right, it doesn't. But being open and talking about other things in my life, gives me much more opportunities to be featured in the press (especially when I don't have a newsworthy story to put out). Also, you can see that in some of these pieces, there's reference to my media training and courses – and links.
These Twitter requests can be about anything and everything – an editor might want to speak to someone who lives on a boat, someone who has cut back on flights for environmental reasons, or someone who is waiting for a holiday refund to come through. But these are all great opportunities to seize on.
Plus it's about relationship building. I was recently featured in an article on the back of responding to a #journorequest. After seeing another #journorequest from the same journalist, I jumped on it and responded to her. As she knew I was quick at answering questions, she featured me again. It might be tough to build relationships with journalists right now, but you can still jump on these requests and build relationships with journalists by being helpful and tagging someone else who might fit the bill.