When LinkedIn expert Wayne Breitbarth demonstrates today, during a webinar I’m hosting, how to use several really powerful LinkedIn tools to connect with journalists and broadcasters on LinkedIn, he’s going to show you how he quickly contacts radio talk show hosts who might want to book him as a guest.
This cool little technique has worked very well for him.
He can do a search and, within seconds, find a list of about a dozen talk show hosts. He sends one email to them all at the same time, introduces himself and his topic, and usually gets two or three bookings from that one email.
Proceed with Caution
If you’re joining us at 3 p.m. Eastern Time today for the webinar with Breitbarth on 4 Secret LinkedIn Power Tools to Connect with Journalists & Put Money in Your Pocket, you’ll hear me caution that you need to be very careful when using this LinkedIn technique to contact journalists, particularly for print and online media, and bloggers. They are very different than broadcasters, and many of them aren’t as open to being pitched directly on the social media sites.
Joining LinkedIn groups that journalists are in, and then building the relationship with them within those groups, is often a better way to introduce yourself and offer to help them. But give before you get! And before you pitch, too.
Here are 11 ways you can be helpful inside or outside LinkedIn groups:
- Share contact information for experts the journalist might like to interview, as long as you know those people will agree to talk to the media.
- Offer story ideas that aren’t about you or your business. If competing journalists are in the same LinkedIn group, send the information by email.
- Share valuable content: articles, videos, podcasts or slideshows that tie into topics the journalist covers.
- Think graphics! You’ll find some fabulous infographics, pithy post-it notes and other how-to information on Pinterest. Example: My board on 50 Tips for Free Publicity.
- Don’t forget to have fun. Share information that ties into a journalist’s favorite hobby. If she loves jazz and you’ve seen her comment about her iPhone, let her know about the free jazz app for the iPhone.
- Pay attention to questions they ask, and answer them if you have something valuable to say.
- Share helpful resources, like Quora.com, where they can ask a question and get valuable answers.
- Comment on their work! Most journalists want feedback, and it doesn’t always have to be positive. Did an article a reporter wrote miss a key point? Did a blogger say something you disagree with? Use discretion. Critical comments are best sent by email, not posted publicly within a group.
- Suggest a topic you’d like to see a journalist or blogger address.
- Offer a blogger a guest post that he can use when he’s on vacation, or during an upcoming holiday weekend.
- Recommend books that tie into the topics they cover.
Offer one or two things from this list, and then pitch. If you don’t know whether a journalist welcomes a pitch on a social media site, pitch by email.
More About the Webinar
Publicity Hounds gave Breitbarth rave reviews for two earlier LinkedIn webinars I hosted. That’s why I invited him to be my guest expert again for today’s training session on several fairly new LinkedIn features to use in a PR and marketing campaign. He’ll show you how to spy on conversations people are having about you or your products, use a new feature on Company Pages to broadcast your new products and services, and dovetail LinkedIn’s search capabilities with email to reach the exact people who want to hear your message.
If the time is inconvenient, you can register anyway here because I’m recording it. Within 72 hours after the call, I’ll email the links for the video replay and the other materials. So if you can’t attend live, you won’t miss anything.
Do you have an idea to add to my list above? What have you offered to journalists to build the relationship?