HuffPost Reporter on Social Media Pitching : IM, FB Ping, @Me

8949Ryan Grim, Senior Congressional Correspondent for the Huffington Post and author of the 2009 Wiley release “This is Your Country on Drugs” was billed as one of 6 speakers for Mopwater PR + Media Notes’ first PR. 2.0 panel  Twitch! Public Relations in the Age of Social Media on Thursday night in Washington, but ended up canceling last minute due to an emergency.

A journalistic emergency?

Not quite. Turns out, it was Grim’s third wedding anniversary, which he obviously could not skip.

Grim sent fellow Huffington Post reporter Arthur Delaney in his stead, and to avoid becoming an official Twitch Ditch, he also sent these responses via email to my questions about his use of social media during his reporting and sourcing.

Mopwater: How has social media changed how you do your job?
RG: The biggest shift I’ve seen is toward IM [instant message], both on Facebook, blackberries, gchat or plain old AIM. People seem more relaxed on IM. So build an IM relationship with a reporter.

Mopwater: How do you use social media to find sources for your stories?

RG: LinkedIn has been an enormous help and is a great way to find people online, as is Facebook. If you want reporters to be able to reach you, make those accounts as public as possible and have a phone number easy to find.

Here’s my broad point: The PR people who are successful for me are the ones who can get through. Getting through is a function of staying ahead of the stream of communication that rushes our way. Once, emailing a reporter was the way to do that, but the inbox now is so stuffed it’ll just get buried. There will continuously be new ways to stay ahead, though. Facebook chatting is a good and underused way now. Some reporters might get annoyed at getting a FB ping from a PR flak, but whatever. It’s not your job to make us happy, just to get our attention. A direct Twitter message would get through, too, as would a tweet with my handle in it. Reporters are always out there looking to see what people are tweeting or writing about their work, so you can trap us that way.

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