Social Media ToolboxIn my opinion, PR is the best tool for getting the word out about yourself, your book or your product. It takes some work on your part, but with social media tools, it’s much easier to deliver your message than ever before. Today, the media uses the Internet as their primary tool for finding experts, so having a strategic online presence is essential. Remember that Social Media is a two-way street – not only can the media find you; you can use it to find out what hot topics are trending right now. Tailor your pitches to what’s hot so journalists can see how indispensable you are!

Here’s a run down of social media sites and how you can use them to boost your PR campaign:

  • Twitter is a great way to learn sound bites because you’re forced to communicate to others with no more than 140 characters. The best way to use this tool in your media outreach is to monitor breaking news from CNN, USA Today and trade media. They’re always tweeting, so see what they’re talking about and pitch them from that.
  • LinkedIn is primarily a social media tool for business, and the best feature on it is the conversation. Once you update your status, browse the professional conversations and groups in your industry and see what they’re talking about. Watch the hottest topics. Pluck one idea from the conversations, add your own opinion/tips and voila, instant media pitch!
  • Facebook is what most people use for personal updates and networking. That’s great, but don’t forget to join the fan clubs of your favorite media. Plus, create your own group so others can become fans of you. Constantly add videos, updates and photos and invite media to join you on Facebook, too.
  • YouTube is one of the best ways for search engines to find you online. Start your own channel and remember to keep your branding consistent with your online press kit, public Web site and all your social media profiles. Take the content from your pitches, bylined articles and online press kit and turn them into short videos and upload them to YouTube. Soon, the media will find you because these videos will deliver your message online in ways words alone just can’t. Take special care crafting the video titles and the descriptions so they include all important search words connected to your brand. That way, when media use search engines with the search terms you’re using, they’ll find you ‘by accident’ much more often.

Then there are all the other new sites we don’t know about yet. Every day new tools arrive online. It’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest so watch the tech trends in the news. If there is a new Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll want to be one of the first with your profile there. New sites work very hard to promote their members, so updating your social networking sites or blogging for other sites are all good ways to keep your Internet profile searchable.