Episode 10

Published on:

16th Nov 2022

Should You Pitch Journalists Via Social Media?

Is it a good idea to pitch your podcast's news story via DM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? We explore Cision's State of the Media report and talk about whether or not it's a good idea to use social media to pitch journalists.

Links to the things we discussed this episode:

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

Yaaaawn. Good morning, podcasters. Nothing like starting your show off with a yawn to really get people amped up to listen. My name is Fuzz Martin and this is Good Morning Podcasters a semi weekly show about marketing advertising, social media, and public relations for podcasters.

Fuzz Martin 0:23

Today we're talking about pitching news about your podcast to journalists. Specifically, we're talking about whether or not you should be pitching news about your podcast to journalists via social media. We're going to explore some data today from decisions annual State of the media report Cision, which sounds like the back half of the word decision, is a software as a service platform for earned media and public relations professionals. Cision is known for its database of journalists that PR pros use to contact journalists for pitches, press releases, media alerts, et cetera. Cision also owns PR Newswire, PR web, a website called Help a Reporter Out, and we'll talk about each of those on upcoming episodes.

Fuzz Martin 1:13

In their state of the media report this year, they had some really interesting data regarding journalists and the use of social media. So let's start first with which social media platforms journalists are using in their professional lives. According to Cision's report globally 63% of journalists use Facebook 59% use Twitter 56% use LinkedIn 44% use Instagram 28% on YouTube 28% on Whatsapp 5% on Tik Tok, and only 1% on Snapchat. Now if you're in the US, you may be wondering why WhatsApp is so high on the list? Well, it's because that was the Global list. WhatsApp is used a heck of a lot more in Europe and Asia than it is in the US.

Fuzz Martin 2:06

When we look at the breakdown of what platforms journalists are using here in the US, Facebook is about the same 62% versus 63%. Globally, Twitter is much higher, it's at 70% in the US and only 59%. globally. LinkedIn is also higher at 61% versus 56. Instagram is lower 39% versus 44. YouTube is lower as well at 23 versus 28. And WhatsApp in the US is only at 4%. Whereas globally, again, the average is 28%.

Fuzz Martin 2:37

So now let's talk about whether or not you should pitch journalists via social media again, should you DM a journalist your pitch, I will start by saying this never pitch a journalist unless you know what they write about, do your homework. Otherwise, you might risk looking really bad or getting locked. Cision's report said that 1% of pitches that journalists receive are irrelevant to them. And what is the DM or an email if it's not relevant? It's Spam. That's what it is spam. And he don't want to waste your time spamming people. So do your homework only pitch journalists that would genuinely be interested in carrying your story.

Fuzz Martin 3:18

This is what Cision recommends. This is straight from their list here, Google them find out what topics they cover, know their work, review their past stories, look at their editorial calendars. This will tell you what they're going to be writing about coming up, check out their feeds, you can look at their social media and see what they're posting. And if the kind of story that you're going to pitch to them fits within that kind of story that they post, go for it. And fifth on Susan's list for doing your homework about journalists know their location and which areas they cover if you're talking about a speaking engagement in the US. But that journalist only covers let's say India, won't be relative to them, and you're going to just be spamming them. So put in the work only pitch quality stories to journalists who will think that your story is quality. And it's more like online dating than a numbers game.

Fuzz Martin 4:08

Okay, you just got to get your pitch right to the right person. So back to the question, Is it okay to pitch journalists via DM on social media? As Arielle Nissenblatt has been saying lately, "it depends."

Fuzz Martin 4:22

But here's what the data says. The question asked in the survey, how do you feel about PR pros reaching out to you on social media? Only 4% said that they approve it over any other approach. 23% said it's acceptable. Another 27% said it depends on the approach they take. 34% said they don't prefer it. And 12% So that's three times as many that said that they approve it. 12% said they hate it and will most likely block you for reaching out to them that way. That's more than one out of 10 journalists So what does this mean to you? Well, it means one, be mindful. If you are mindful, you have done your research on the journalist and you're certain that your news is relevant to them. And you have a well thought out pitch, you've got about a 54% chance of that pitch being read. That said, you also have a 46% chance of being ignored or worse, blocked.

Fuzz Martin 5:20

Another good idea is to check the journalist social media profiles and see if it says something like DMS open, if so, that might be your in all that said journalists overwhelmingly prefer email as their method of communication. And I would recommend just sticking to the tried and true email unless you already have a relationship with that journalist. And in that case, reach out to them however you think that might work out, you've got their phone number, send them a text. Just don't start cold pitching journalists through Facebook Messenger, your Twitter DMS or through LinkedIn mail.

Fuzz Martin 5:53

So to recap, journalists in the US are using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn the most. Be sure you're only pitching the right journalists. And also consider using email instead of social media unless that journalist social media profile indicates that they liked DMS. I'll link to the decision state of the media report in the show notes and on Good Morning pod.com so you can read more, and go dig in for yourself. There's lots of great information in that report.

Fuzz Martin 6:22


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Good Morning Podcasters!
Marketing, Advertising, PR and Social Media Tips for Podcasters
Good Morning Podcasters explores marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media topics as they relate to podcasting and content creation. The show is hosted by Fuzz Martin—an agency owner and former broadcaster. The show is published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with regular bonus episodes of "Podcasting Sucks!" with co-host Jeff Townsend on Saturday mornings.

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.