Pitch Media Using Twitter

It's more of a question than a suggestion, but I think it could be a unique way to touch your media contacts without blitzing them with excess pitches. Here's a little background...

Earlier this week Sarah Perez posted this article on ReadWriteWeb about something called "Twitpitch" invented by Stowe Boyd, a business strategy and information technology consultant. Instead of getting hammered with emails he set up a group on Hashtags and had people tweet him their pitches. By viewing a single page, Stowe could then read through perhaps the most concise pitches on the planet.

Now put this in the context of PR. Perhaps your agency or brand could have their own unique hashtag (#pitchfeed for example) or maybe it would be better served as a newsfeed for an upcoming trade show. By creating a keyword (hashtag) for your brand, writers could visit your unique link (ours is #pitchfeed for example) and scan quickly through your recent posts. The posts would be concise - kind of like a headline with more meat than fluff. They would also have a link to more information. You can even let your contacts subscribe to the feed-like tweet via RSS.

Hashtags are being used by tech bloggers and were popularized during the San Diego forest fires in 2007, according to their site.

If Twitter continues to grow and more media get used to utilizing it, especially internal at their publications, etc. there could be an opportunity for PR pros like you to give them a fresh approach. However, use CAUTION. Just because the tool exists that doesn't mean you have to use it. It's kind of like embedding too many links in a release- when does it become too much?

The majority of people I polled recommended keeping your tweets to a minimum and to generalize your pitches like, "Anyone interested in a new solar toaster?" That's why I liked the Hashtag alternative, where only your stories are posted to one user-group (or writers).

Melanie Seasons a New Media Relations at MS&L Digital had this to say:

I've pitched via Twitter through DM and through my public feed, both successful. But with most things, it's completely dependent on the campaign and the person.
Some rules to stick to:
-Don't pitch someone on Twitter that you don't already have a relationship with
-Don't sign up for Twitter or add people just so that you can pitch stories. You must have a presence and friend list established.
-Identify the Tweet as a pitch -Short and sweet. One sentence, one link -Invite a DM or email for more info
-Remember Twitter's purpose - don't pitch more than you Tweet

So, if you're interested in testing this out, and maybe implementing it for your clients attending an upcoming trade show, or maybe just testing it out, I put together a little quick start guide. Have at it!

Here's how to set up a hashtag:
1. You need a Twitter account.
2. Log on to www.hashtags.org and see if the #hashtag you would like to use is available. Click "All Tags" and search the list.
3. Click "enable" in the right hand column.
4. Once enabled, simply type your text in Twitter and include your #hashtag (preferably at the end of your short post)
5. Visit your site: http://hashtags.org/tag/pitchfeed/ for example

Here are more answers to "Have you ever pitched on Twitter?"

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