Managers and PR professionals of many properties are using Twitter primarily to contact customers, offer solutions for their problems, share information and developments about properties and lastly to enhance customer experience, which are all correct ways of use as we often mention on the HotelRunner blog as well. However, there is also another group you should not overlook: Journalists.
Of course we are not talking about delivering press releases to journalists through Twitter. Using this social network as a ‘direct communication’ tool with journalists might contribute to properties and brands in a way that you cannot imagine.
What should you keep in mind while communicating with press members who might mention your property in media channels they are working for? Here is the answer…
Journalists are on social media
According to the 6th Annual Digital Journalism Study, carried out by Oriella PR Network in 14 countries with the participation of 500 journalists, the rate of journalists who use Twitter regularly has increased to 59% this year, up from 47% last year. The rate of those using social media to access news sources and information has reached to 51%.
What should you do and keep in your mind to make use of this compelling audience?
Find the right people
You must already be familiar with some of the journalists engaged in your industry, but you can be sure that the number of those you do not know about is much higher. You can find out those who provide new ideas, share information and look for sources by searching some keywords (or hashtags such as #hotel, #tourism) related to this industry on Twitter. While creating your list, you can exclude those with lower number of followers in order to avoid excessive crowd.
These people whom you include in your list will be pleased to receive the industry-related information provided by a manager in your property. When sharing critical data or information, tweet by referring to (i.e. mentioning) those whom you consider to be relevant.
Get to know them through Retweeting
The first step to take when contacting someone via Twitter is to share some of his/her tweets again, i.e. retweet, rather than immediately ask them to do something. Journalists will probably check who retweets their tweets, thus they can learn your property’s name in a short time. At this point, you better tweet in a way that contributes to them instead of asking them to “promote you”.
As a media relations rule, also remind yourself that a journalist is also a ‘human’. Although they are not inclined to share personal information, you can ensure they keep you in mind by sending them tweets to advice, congratulate and give feedback as to the events they participate in, For instance, when a journalist is about to set out for a city he has never been to before, you can recommend him/her a local restaurant by giving the name and location. This might not seem to be a very effective method, but it actually has a greater impact than you can imagine.
What to avoid
While doing so, overwhelming them with tweets in which you mention them all the time can help you remain in their mind, but you might create a negative impression at the same time. Similarly, retweeting them obsessively might lead them to think that your concern is insincere. Lastly, if you share your political expressions and opinions while communicating with a journalist on Twitter, you will digress, so it might not be a good idea to do so.
The first sign of success
By following these steps, you will eventually see that you become more informed about a journalist’s activities, style and interests. So in time, a low-frequency but an effective communication will emerge between the two of you on Twitter. You will be among those whom the journalist resorts to when looking for sources of reference. When he/she retweets one of your tweets, it will be the first sign of your success.
You can benefit from social media in many aspects from the promotion of your property to media relations. To promote your property more effectively and perform direct sales, you need an infrastructure that will allow you to do so. HotelRunner can help you with all such needs. Create your account now and start to earn immediately.