One Big Tip for Connecting with Journalists on LinkedIn

As a truly connected PR pro, you should not just follow multiple journalists on social media; you should join their circles. Why? Well, if you’re good at your job then these relationships can grow to be mutually beneficial: you provide journalists with experts on given topics and help them add character to their stories out while they get your clients’ names out there. It’s classic PR.

But if you want to use LinkedIn to connect with journalists, here’s an important and ridiculously simple hint: let them know why.

In other words, rewrite the generic invitation message to explain the logic behind the connection. “We are colleagues” isn’t going to cut it, and neither will “I am familiar with your name because people tell me I should read your work for publication X”. A simple “I follow and admire your writing, I work with clients in the field that you cover, and I believe that we could be good contacts for one another on future stories” is probably good enough.

This isn’t to say that every journalist will accept your invitation; they won’t. But they will notice the extra step that you took on their behalf.

Don’t bother giving “endorsements” to people who aren’t really your colleagues, though; it’s the equivalent of “liking” the wedding photos of an in-law you’ve never met.