If you keep replying to #JournoRequests on Twitter and aren’t getting any responses, these simple PR mistakes are probably the reason why…
Twitter is a brilliant way for you start-up foodies to grab yourself some easy PR because most journos are on there. Every day, there’s a whole bunch of requests from local and national media looking for the perfect person or business to use in their story. This type of responsive PR (rather than the proactive type where you send out cold pitches and hope someone might be interested) can give you a much higher rate of return because these journalists have already been commissioned to write stories about a particular topic.
One of the problems of following the #JournoRequest hashtag is that there are hundreds of random topics out there to sort through, (so if you want to look at a tailored daily list the easy way, that’s all part of the £49pm service in The Smoothie Bar). Once you find tweets that are a good fit, lots of busy foodies make these big mistakes and it ruins their chances of the journalist contacting them.
You didn’t read the tweet properly!
The joy (and curse) of Twitter is that you only have 280 characters to play with, so you can’t write more than a couple of short(ish) sentences.
Make sure you take a few seconds to read it in full and respond as requested because journos don’t have the time or inclination to chase you up!
Here are some examples that can trip you up:
1. A tweet that includes an email address
The journalist has added their email address in the tweet which means they want you to email them with your comments, NOT in the feed below. In this case, I would email them and then tweet a reply saying you’ve just done that so they know to look for a response from you.
2. A tweet that includes a bio mention
In this case to save them time writing it, the tweet didn’t include their email address as she mentions that it’s already in her bio. If you’re on a mobile, click on their name to see the bio or, if you’re on a desktop, it will be on the left-hand side of the screen.
3. A tweet that mentions a DM
The journo has more specific details that she wants to add to the request but doesn’t want to run out of characters, so sending her a DM (direct message) to find out more is a quick and easy way for her to suss out whether you’re a good fit for the article.
4. A tweet that mentions a DM response
In this case, she wants you to respond with a direct message on Twitter, NOT in the feed below the tweet. This is a much easier way for both of you to have a quick discussion about whether you’re a good fit without lots of emails being passed back and forth, which can easily get lost in the journalist’s inbox.
Some accounts enable a setting to receive DMs from anyone, even if they don’t follow you, so you can assume this is the case if they’re asking you to reply in this way. The advantage of a DM over a tweet is that you’re not restricted in length with your reply, but that’s no excuse to waffle on – get straight to the point if you can help!
5. A tweet without any contact details
There’s no contact info in this tweet so you can assume they’re just looking for a reply to the tweet. To make it really easy for them to pick and respond to you, tell them why you’re a good fit and add your email address. Journalists are very busy people juggling multiple stories, so they are going to hone in on those who make their lives easier. Be that person!
Follow these very simple PR tips and you could suddenly find yourself on the radar of journalists everywhere!