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Social Media, Social Media Boss, Twitter

How to Use Twitter to Build your Media List

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This is a guest post written by Christy Laverty of

Getting featured in the media, whether it is on television, radio, in newspapers, magazines, on a
blog or a podcast, allows you to build influence, authority, serious business street credibility and
that all important know, like, and trust factor (ok, I might be repeating myself but it’s worth
repeating because it is so important). When you are mentioned in the media the audience
immediately believes you are the real deal (because you really are) because the media gives
you that third party endorsement. Journalists do their due diligence to check you out before they
put you in front of their audience. Their audience trusts the judgement of the media and that
gives you almost instant credibility! The beauty of getting publicity through television or radio
media is you get to show people who you are. They get to hear you and/or see you. It is your
opportunity to tell people your story, share your message, and help an audience solve a
problem by educating, enlightening, and entertaining.

While many journalists use social media to do their jobs, most still prefer story pitches via email.
So, how do you go about finding those all important names, positions and email addresses?
Twitter is a great place to turn to start your media strategy and to find your perfect media
contacts, build relationships and build your ultimate list of media to pitch.

Want to build your media list? Twitter is a great place to find social media contacts, to build relationships, and connect with potential collaborations!

1. Get your search on
So you know you want to get press. You understand the benefits to you and your
business BUT you are not sure where to start finding those journalists to send your
pitches to. Use Twitter to start searching for those journalists.

Just about every media outlet, show, and/or publication has a Twitter account. Most
journalists also have accounts. A quick Twitter search allows you to find journalists who
work on the shows and publications you want press from. Producers and editors are
often the story decision makers. Be sure to add some reporters to your lists too!
You can use the search tool to search but it will give anything that comes up with those
keywords. Useful but not perfect. Instead, refine your search to accounts only. For
example, when you search accounts using the keywords ABC producers, you get a list
of everyone who lists ABC producer in their bio! Do this for all the outlets, shows,
publications and positions you want to add to your perfect media list. Search, find and

2. Creating your Twitter lists
Now that you have done a solid search for some of your perfect media contacts, it’s time
to start collecting these followers and add them to your Twitter lists. Create lists of media
outlets, shows, publications, producers, editors, reporters and hosts. I create lists based
on area, like International Media, local media or National media. You could create lists
based on the media outlet, city, or even niche.

One thing I will say is you need to think about whether you want your lists private or
public. I like to make my media lists private so I am the only one who knows who is on
the list. I use the list as my own private contact list. Remember, when lists are public
everyone, including the person you just added to your list, gets a notification.

Not only does this allow you to build a list of journalists you could pitch, it also allows you
better listen to what the media is sharing and covering. Add your lists to your columns in
Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can see the feed. This is a first step in creating your own
list of media contacts and building relationships with journalists.

3. Build relationships
We have all heard how important social is for community building, it is no different when
it comes to building a community of media and PR contacts. Journalists are people, just
like you and me, who want to do a good job so connect with them on that level. Getting
continued press has a lot to do with relationships and Twitter allows you to start building
those media relationships as you add them to your list.

Journalists are easily accessible on social and many use social media platforms, like
Twitter, to build relationships (according to Cision , 73% of journalists use social media to
build relationships).

Start following, sharing, liking, and commenting on content your media contacts tweet. It
is a small thing but can go a long way to warming things up so you don’t have to have a
cold introduction when you do finally pitch them a story.

4. Reach out and connect
You have built your Twitter lists, you followed and shared as you worked on building
relationships with journalists,and now is the time to reach out and really connect. You
can use the information you discover on Twitter to start building a spreadsheet media list
with names, positions, email addresses and even phone numbers. Use what you have
learned from Twitter bios and add in additional information from media outlet websites,
like phone numbers.

Most journalists still prefer to be pitched via email (according to a Cision survey 93% of
journalists prefer email pitches) but how do you go about getting those all important
email addresses? If you have been following and relationship building, reach out and
ask. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to a new media contact on Twitter, tell
them you have a story idea you would love to pitch and ask for their email address.
Some journalists even post their email addresses in their Twitter bios!
Creating a media strategy is all about building lists, building relationships, understanding what
the media really wants and how you can deliver that to them. Twitter allows you to build your
media lists, build relationships with journalists, research what they want and need and,
ultimately, help you discover what you have to give that will enlighten, educate and entertain the

Want more Twitter tips and techniques to help you successfully pitch the media and get press?


Christy Laverty is a veteran broadcast journalists turned media coach and strategist. She
teaches Entrepreneurs how to leverage the power of the media by creating and executing their
own media and PR strategies. Christy shares tips, tools, and techniques, like how to create a
solid digital press room, building a solid media list and crafting the a successful story pitch to get
press. Check her out on her site You can also find her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram.

You can also find Christy sharing more more media and
PR tips, tools and techniques in her Facebook Group Media + PR Collective For Entrepreneurs


Want to build your media list? Twitter is a great place to find social media contacts, to build relationships, and connect with potential collaborations!



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  1. This was perfect for me! Establishing my biz on FB and Instagram was easy for me because I use both for my personal life. But Twitter was quite new + different. This article gave me excellent ways to start on the Twitter train! Thank you.

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