I’ve definitely written a post before on why Twitter is important for journalists, but I wrote it only having used it a handful of times, and probably not as much in matters of urgency.
So here was my scenario the other week – in vague terms. There was an award ceremony for this thing, and I had to have a feature up including interviews with the winners, the day AFTER the award ceremony. The day BEFORE the ceremony, the PR told me that once the winners had been announced, she’d forward me on their details so I could call them up and interview them for a feature the next day. Obviousllyyyy to be annoying, this didn’t happen. I contacted her, I had no reply. I scoured Twitter to see if I could see any tweets about the winners and who won. I found them, followed them all, asked them to follow me, DM’ed them, asked for their numbers, did three quick phone interviews, wrote the feature up, and had it up later that day. About five days later the PR got back to me with their details. So yeah, Twitter is pretty cool.
Recently it’s been ridiculously helpful for these two reasons, which all journalists probably need to find…
It’s as simple as typing in the job role you want to talk to. Whether it’s a careers expert, career psychologist (can you guess what I was looking for?), stress expert, someone who’s an editor, blah blah you get the picture. Then on the left-hand side, click ‘people’ and it will show all the people who have that phrase in the bio. I just find someone who is appropriate, tweet them, get an email, and then ask them what I’m looking for.
Finding case studies
Whoever invented #journorequest (I know there is someone, because I saw it on Twitter the other day that someone had it in their bio), is just a great person. A lot of features I have need case studies to make them relatable, and back them up. Writing a simple ‘Looking for young people who commute #journorequest’ will yield back responses of people who are willing to chat to you.
Isn’t Twitter a great thing? And yet I still occasionally wonder if people walking past my computer think I’m just procrastinating on Twitter, rather than actually doing my job…