I participated in Sarah Evans’ #journchat a few times now. It’s a three hour chat with journalists and other PR people that is held once per week with Twitter as a forum. I use TweetChat to keep only the tweets in front of me that are chat-related (I catch up with non-chat tweets later) and this past Monday, the chat was so popular, it was somewhat difficult to keep up with.
Highlights from the chats are later posted on the JournChat site and I just discovered that I was quoted there last week on my definition of a bad pitch. I said: “juliebonnheath: Bad pitch: Not researching enough about the company and market. You look stupid. Seriously.”
OK, then. Hope I didn’t offend anyone—I can be very “to the point” and of course, Twitter encourages this with the limit on 140 characters when you post.
Sarah Evans, the director of communications at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois, comments on why she started JournChat. “I believe there is a need in this evolving world of media and public relations for some major dialogue between those who make it happen.” She says, “The mission is to keep an ongoing, open dialogue between journalists, bloggers and public relations professionals (for as long as we can).”
This opportunity can be beneficial to all of us and especially to people like me who are journalists, write blogs and also provide marketing/PR services. Perhaps those like me have an advantage—as we can see most all sides of any issues, complications and challenges. But it is always good to gather opinions and I am always learning from other people.
Opinions can vary widely. For instance, as discussed last time, I feel that it is OK to pitch someone on Twitter, as long as I have developed a relationship with them there. But some people on the chat felt strongly that Twitter is just a beginning to the relationship building. People should “meet”, per say, on Twitter, move onto email, meet in person (if possible) and then pitch. Now, many people I do move onto email with—especially when the dialogue starts needing replies of more than 140 characters—but most people I work with are far from me and it would be impossible to meet up with them before pitching my services.
Just so you know, relationship building on Twitter to me includes chats about various topics and sometimes even answering questions or helping someone out a few times. And then looking for an opening is key. I don’t directly say to someone (usually), “if you need PR services, please let me know” but if someone I have connected with is tweeting about the need for something, their new book, etc., I do mention my desire to help them with their efforts.
Looking forward to the next #journchat!