Little known PR secrets from the Queen of Twitter, Laura Fitton
Updated on July 8th, 2013
I caught up with Laura Fitton at the Inbound conference in Boston. Below we learn the little known PR secrets that Laura uses to get loads of press mentions, blog mentions and back links. Plus we discover Laura’s daily Twitter routine that makes it all possible.
Here is a transcript of what we spoke about:
Laura’s daily ritual
Adam Franklin: Hi there. It’s Adam Franklin, and I am here with Laura Fitton who is @Pistachio on Twitter. Thanks for joining us today, Laura. I’ve got a question for you. I’d really like to find out what, I guess, your daily ritual using Twitter is for our followers on our blog and YouTube channel.
Laura Fitton: That would be great, thanks. Appreciate the opportunity. So, I use a mix of different tools and a mix of different types of interactions on Twitter. I have a very simple, single column Twitter client. It is actually called Twhirl. I don’t even know if you can download it anymore. It is a really old one. I have that looking at an account that follows about 700 people, but it’s the people I really want to keep on top of what they are saying, and I use that as my study break treat. If I have just done a nice productive chunk of 45 minutes of work, I take 5 to 10 minutes and I catch up with the world. I see what’s going on in the world, what my friends are up to, maybe what some journalist said that I want to reach out to. Just kind of ‘dip my toe in’ and keep current.
Most of my actual tweeting, DMs, and @replies and stuff like that I actually am old-school: I use Twitter.com. So I’ll often have tons of different tabs open. If I’m going to be reaching out to a journalist later, I make sure and read their Twitter before I do so. If I am going to be going a meeting, same kind of thing. If I’m going to a certain city and I want to see if my friends who live in that city – or my business associates who live in that city – are there, I go look at their tweets and see, okay, oh yeah, that person isn’t in San Francisco this week. Okay, I won’t reach out to him right now.
So I use a lot of different ways at a lot of different times. On my phone, it’s more just to be able to keep up with direct messages or @replies and make sure I’ve responded to them in the correct way… not correct, but, you know, the appropriate way. I am trying to keep up the conversation.
Getting PR via Twitter
Adam Franklin: And what is a really good tip, I guess, for keeping in touch with journalists? Given you’ve just given a talk on how to do PR.
Laura Fitton: Sure, sure. I think the best thing to do is get a fairly targeted list, either set them as a subset list on your Twitter account or, if you have a small enough group that you’re following that you will actually be able to see people, just add them in and follow them. Just read their stuff. Go to their page on a regular basis. Keep up on what they’re doing. When you do see stuff that is genuinely interesting to you and you want to re-tweet it, re-tweet it in a way that they actually see that you re-tweeted it.
This is simply done by refraining from hitting that re-tweet button. Just copy and paste the tweet, clean it up, type RT. That way you’re showing up on their Mentions tab.
Now, Twitter has updated the software, so that if you use the automatic re-tweet button, there is a notice sent out saying that so-and-so re-tweeted you. I don’t know that everybody really pays close attention to those notices. So I still think the manual re-tweet is a better way to go.
That way you have got a couple of very low-level, non-threatening interactions with the person by the time you actually do want to reach out to them. Just make sure you’re being relevant. I have one guy, he’s doing it for various kinds of spammy reasons, so I finally blocked him. But he was literally re-tweeting eight tweets a day, every single day, and he was re-tweeting me way more than anybody else. It was totally creeping me out. Why is he doing this?
I finally went to his account and realized he’d post a tweet every 30 seconds. So the only way he can get that many tweets is by re-tweeting lots of other people. So, yeah, don’t do that.
But, in normal, non-creepy ways you can get your name in front of the journalists a few times, over time, in a relevant, friendly, positive way. If they ask a question, answer it. There are plenty of opportunities to find a way in, to open that relationship if you just are patient about it and read their stuff for a while.
Adam Franklin: Sort of lead with that generosity and, you were saying in the talk, give first and then build a relationship.
Laura Fitton: Ideally, you help them the first time you interact in some way, shape, or form. Then maybe say like, “Hey, you don’t follow me, but I had a question for you. Do you mind emailing me or calling me back for a second?” Something like that.
Laura Fitton: Thanks for the opportunity Adam. I appreciate it.
Adam Franklin: And where can people find out more about you?
Laura Fitton: HubSpot.com/pistachio.
Adam Franklin: Okay.
Laura Fitton: And the book is “Twitter for Dummies,” but you’re not a dummy.
Adam Franklin: Awesome. Thank you.
Laura Fitton: But you’re not a dummy.
Adam Franklin: Thank you very much.
Laura Fitton: Thank you.