Just like real life, you communicate with a large circle of professionals, but the bulk of the benefits come from just a handful of clients or connections you make over months and years.
1. Find the reporters by searching through Muckrack.
2. Peruse the “contact us” pages of your local media outlets to track down reporters’ Twitter names. Be helpful especially when it doesn’t help you directly.
3. Watch for tweets asking for help, especially on deadline. That’s the quickest way to strike up a relationship.
4. Monitor and post hashtags of the town or topic you or your client is involved in. Even if the reporters don’t tweet, they’ll likely monitor it for interesting story ideas.
5. Say something nice about the story a reporter wrote or aired, making sure you add the reporter’s Twitter name to the comment. When possible, link to the story.