When trying to promote your client’s company or new product, it’s not always easy to generate immediate interest with the right people or outlets. Reporters often find themselves bogged down by the vast number of email pitches they receive daily, or even hourly. So perhaps a new tactic is needed.
A recent New York Times article, Spinning the Web, mentions such a tactic… not to pitch, but to “whisper in the ears” of the industry’s Who’s Who. For the PR campaign in this article, the “Who’s Who” included leading technology start-up stars like Jay Adelson, the chief executive of Digg; Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; and Jason Calacanis, the founder of Mahalo.
Using social media tools to spread the news can help generate awareness so that when you do go to pitch media, they can say, “oh yeah, I’ve heard of that,” or “I remember seeing something about that.” The key to “whispering” through social media though is to generate more whispers. Getting influential social media gurus to re-tweet, post, or write about something you whispered will increase the likelihood of a journalist that you’re trying to target coming across the news on their own.
If they find it interesting, they’ll be more open to your pitch, or even, in a perfect world, come to you – the whisper initiator – to learn more. If the media hears about the news – whether it be a company or product launch, or a new trend in the industry – and writes something, your goal of generating coverage has been achieved, and the journalist will like it better because they thought it was their idea.
The whispering targets in the New York Times article all have many followers on various social media outlets. When they talk, people listen – or at least they have a better chance of people listening due to sheer numbers.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Using Social Media To Generate Leads, there is a growing divide between traditional media like newspapers, television, and radio, and social media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Using the newer channels to whisper through the wires is quickly becoming a trend – and finding out who to whisper to is the first step to generating buzz.