In recent weeks, PR Couture has received an increase in pitches over Twitter (it's no surprise, since our account has grown over 150% in just two months!) and we have made several excellent connections through our own approach to pitching over Twitter. However, it has quickly become apparent that some pitches fare better than others, and as such, it seemed time for a quick Twitter pitching 101 lesson!
History of the Twitpitch
The idea of pitching on Twitter is accredited to Stowe Boyd, who used Twitter to set up meetings during a conference. In collaboration with Boyd, Brian Solis took the concept a step further with MicroPR (basically a Twitter account that connects media and PR). Social Media Press Release builder Pitch Engine now includes a 140 character pitch summary option on all SMPRs and it appears that the call for and acceptance of pitches via Twitter are on the rise.
What to Pitch
The challenge of pitching over Twitter stems from the difficulty of distilling your complex message into limiting space and word constraints, though once you get the hang of it, can be quite refreshing and efficient! If you have strategically developed a Twitter following that is representative of opinion leaders and potential customers/clients, realize that you are in fact, pitching already - you are pitching yourself! Don't limit the idea of Twitpitching to just media - think of it as an opportunity to pitch your agency, your particular skills and yes, media/bloggers whom you want to cover your clients.
A Fun Twitter Promo
Music PR firm Ariel Publicity is currently running a "Tweet your best pitch," contest, where musicians answer the question "What does your band sounds like" via Twitter for a chance to win a 3-month online PR campaign. Winners will be announced from Austin at SXSW on Saturday March 21,2009
5 Tips for Pitching on Twitter
AVOID ALL CAPS - just because you only have 140 characters doesn't mean that every word needs to shout. Pitching in all caps is unprofessional, annoying and just might get you unfollowed as well! Let's tweet at a normal web volume, shall we?
I want 2 tell u - that even though this is the internet, refrain from using netspeak. Instead, use actual words and then send me a link to read more.
Link me - Some of the best pitches are a teaser and a link "Wanted to share our eco-fashion line for consideration - link." Media knows what to do with that! P.S. use Cl.igs if you are interested in tracking how many of your pitches resulted in a clicked link
A word on DM (Direct Message) - if you have cultivated a strong relationship with someone and you want to "make the ask" privately via DM, great. However, for blind pitches (people you have never spoken to or those who may not be following you) spend some time developing a relationship first, and then, when the time is right, casually ask if they would be open to receiving a pitch from you that you think they would enjoy/find useful. Or, send the pitch publically via @, and then follow up with a DM introducing yourself further.
Don't pitch and ditch - Don't jump onto Twitter, send a pitch and then jump off for the next 8 hours. Monitor your DM's, @replies and email and respond quickly. Twitter is fast-moving, baby, and you risk missing opportunities by not being on the ball at all times.
Of course, standard media relations Best Practices still apply here. Be familiar with who you are pitching, what they like to write about, and pitch them in a way that demonstrates you have done your homework. Also, be sensitive to the community and the context under which you are pitching. Twitter is many things to many people, including an escape from work. Appreciate that for some people, Twitter is simply not the time nor the place. However, just as many bloggers and media are receptive to being pitched over Twitter, so when in doubt, ask!
- For a list of fashionables, fashion PR pros, and fashion media on Twitter check out the PR_Couture followers and this PR Couture post (feel free to add youself as well!)