Do you want to be on Forbes, The Huffington Post, or one of those other popular media outlets? The main way to get on big media outlets is by connecting with journalists on Twitter and having a remarkable story. There are some tips to help you out with your remarkable story, but in order to get noticed by the big media outlets, connecting with those journalists on Twitter is just as important as having the remarkable story.
There is a blueprint to use that will get a journalist’s attention. Once you have that journalist’s attention, then you can tell them about your story. Here’s what you need to do to get their attention:
- Look for a journalist who is not overwhelmingly popular. The less followers a journalist has, the more likely that journalist is to interact with you. You should contact the journalist with 10,000 followers before you contact the journalist with 1 million followers. Even if the journalist who has 10,000 followers is not from your favorite media outlet, it is important to remember that news spreads. When my dog got in The Associated Press, she also went in newspapers like this one, that one, and a bunch of others as well.
- Favorite and retweet the journalist’s articles. Only favorite and retweet articles that you actually like. If you like what the journalist writes, and the story relates to your niche or story, then that is the journalist who is likely to write about you (and the person who you want to have write about you). In addition, you can mention the journalist and tell the journalist that they wrote a good article.
- Wait for the journalist to respond. Not all journalists respond, but when they do, you need to strengthen the connection. Once the journalist responds to you, then you have their attention.
After you have the journalist’s attention, you need to build on that attention and build it into a strong connection. Here are the steps you need to take in order to build the attention into a strong connection.
- Thank the journalist for responding to your tweet the right way. Instead of saying, “Thank you for responding,” you should say something that tells the journalist that he/she is doing a good job on the web. A good response to start with would be, “I enjoy reading and sharing content like yours on the web.”
- Continue the conversation by asking an ego boosting question. All you have to do at the end of the tweet is say, “How did you get started as a professional writer?” or something along those lines. When people talk about themselves, the same parts of the brain are triggered as when people talk about food or sex. If that journalist likes food and/or sex (who doesn’t like one, the other, or both), then that journalist will respond to your tweet. Many journalists do not hesitate to promote themselves when the opportunity comes. Asking the question gives them that opportunity.
- Respond to that tweet and continue the conversation. There is no rubric for this step. Your response depends on how the journalist responds. The key to the connection working is that you have a lengthy conversation before you ask the journalist to write about you.
- When to ask the question. After you get the conversation with the journalist, continue favoriting and retweeting that person’s tweets. That way, the journalist will not forget about you. If the journalist cannot forget about you, then you have won the hardest part of the battle. All you have to do is continue favoriting and retweeting the journalist’s tweets. After 2-4 weeks have gone by, ask the journalist the question. Say something like, “I do BLANK and was wondering if you would like to learn more.” In order to increase your likelihood of appearing in the newspaper, what you do needs to be related to what the journalist writes about.
You should repeat this process for multiple journalists. One of those journalists will say yes, and then it will only be a matter of time before other newspapers hear about you and write about your story. Once you make it in a newspaper for the first time, it progressively becomes easier to make it in others newspapers out there.