This article first appeared on MediaHQ.com.
There are now more ways than ever to communicate with a journalist—but that doesn’t mean they are more likely to pick up your pitch.
If a particularly influential reporter likes to hang out on Twitter, why not reach out to them there rather than through their overflowing inbox?
Here are three tips for pitching through Twitter:
1. Show some interest
Follow the reporter in advance of tweeting your pitch. That way they will know you are serious about sharing your story idea and aren’t just spamming every journo in sight.
Try to engage with them beforehand as well—like some of their tweets; comment on a couple of posts. Show some genuine interest in their work.
2. Go public
If you tweet ‘.@username’, your pitch will be visible to other Twitter users, so even if this particular journalist isn’t interest, another reporter might spot the tweet and take you up on it.
Equally, remember to do your usual research before reaching out—a journalist might publicly call you out if you tweet them a totally irrelevant story idea.
Check what topics they tend to cover, look at who they are following and scroll through their likes. This should give you a good idea of what they are interested in.
3. Follow-up—but only once
If the journalist doesn’t respond to you within a reasonable time (this depends on the shelf life of your story and how active the reporter is on Twitter), there is no harm in sending a courteous follow-up tweet.
If they don’t respond on Twitter, don’t email them the same pitch with a follow-up email, followed by a pitch via LinkedIn messenger with yet another follow-up.
There’s a reason you chose to contact them through Twitter—if they didn’t get back to there, they won’t respond anywhere else.