The Top 10 PR Lead Sources on Twitter

What’s a more likely scenario for media coverage: pitch a reporter out of the blue or a reporter who seeks an expert that matches your background precisely?

It’s the difference between “push” and “pull” PR. When you pitch a story, you are pushing your story to the media. Conversely, with “pull” PR, the reporter goes out and pulls down information, either via online research (where optimized press releases can appear) or via posting an actual request for an expert on a certain topic. In short: the reporter has a need, so who best to fill it and grab the media coverage? The answer can be you!

So where are these PR leads? And what kind of PR leads are they? There are several online services that charge a monthly fee. You can also conduct manual searches and identify reporters covering certain “beats” like lifestyle, health, business, etc.

For our purposes here, the title of this article is dead giveaway. Bottom line: Twitter is a gold mine for leads if you know where to look.

Caveat: lets expand the definition of the word “lead” to include traditional media, online media exposure (including blogs and other web sites) or a mention on air via a media anchor or reporter. For our purposes here, such exposure ranges from an on air mention to raise brand visibility and exposure to scoring media coverage for what you are selling. Of course, if a CNN anchor reads your tweet, you can say with great pride “I got on CNN!”

Important: in many cases, especially with the media personalities on this list, the desired outcome is not pitching your story via Twitter. It’s about joining the conversation and adding value, two traits that will serve you well with any of your tweets on Twitter.

The 4 Categories

of PR Lead Sources On Twitter

As an online PR expert, I constantly monitor PR lead sources for myself, my clients and for my customers. And after some exhaustive research, including monitoring the Tweets of various Twitter PR lead sources, it makes the most sense to group them into the following areas:

  1. Media: media personalities, reporters and anchors
  2. PR lead services and PR lead aggregators
  3. PR thought leaders and PR professionals
  4. Newswires

So let’s look at each category at a high level before I reveal my top 10 list…

Media personalities, Reporters and Anchors
Notice I said personalities, not media outlets. That’s because it’s hard to interact with an outlet. Many media outlets only use Twitter as a broadcast channel for their news stories.

You see it’s the personalities that actually get out there, interact with the “twitterverse” and share their thoughts, opinions and needs-in this case, leads or feedback.

PR Lead Services and Lead Aggregators
This category includes both paid PR lead services as well as individuals that aggregate leads from a variety of sources. The goal? Leveraging the breadth and immediacy of Twitter in hopes of filling the need quickly. These lead services are often over $1000/year.

So given the fact you can scoop up qualified leads (many for free), It makes sense to follow these services on Twitter. Example: @skydiver

PR Thought Leaders
In this group are highly visible speakers, bloggers, PR professionals and media consultants. These PR thought leaders are able PR lead generators since they interact with the media because of their guru status. In addition, they often tweet valuable tips on PR, Publicity, Public Relations, Media Relations and more. Example: @MicroPR.

Newswires
Most newswires only republish press releases that cross their wire. However, a few, on occasion, will publish a lead. Sometimes, they will retweet leads from others. Example: @profnet

Now that you have some context to these PR lead sources, let’s dive into the list:

The Top 10 PR Lead Sources on Twitter

Quick note: this list is not calculated by the number of followers or some fancy triple-secret algorithm. It’s strictly my opinion so feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below. This list will be updated over time, expanded, and made as current as my schedule allows.

1. Peter Shankman: Help A Reporter Out @Skydiver

Category: lead aggregator

This man is a lead machine. I get his email newsletter of leads and on a bad day there are usually 40+ leads. Follow Peter on Twitter for the urgent leads, he tweets about them every day. Also, since you must be brief in Twitter, when you see URGHARO in this tweets it means: Urgent Help A Reporter Out.

skydiver

2.Profnet@Profnet

Category: lead service

This is a service offered by PRNewswire. It’s subscription based. My good friend and colleague Dan Janal of PR Leads also offers this service. While not as prolific as @skydiver, Profnet is a good source for PR leads.

profnet1

3. @PRsarahevans via #journchat

Category: PR thought leader

Sarah Evans is a communications professional, blogger at Mashable and conducts #journchat, a weekly chat via Twitter that draws journalists, PR folks and more. So this is more of an indirect play: rather than publishing leads via tweets, here’s a way to get access to the media and tweet your questions and comments. In addition, she will often retweet leads from other sources such as the #1 on the list, @skydiver.

sarahevans

4.Media Kitty @mediakitty

Category: PR lead service

Hat tip to Bill Stoller, #9 on ourTop PR lead List for alerting me to this valuable resource. According to their web site, Media Kitty is “a service for journalists and business professionals to communicate and stay connected through quick and easy postings.” Well, it doesn’t get any quick, easy or short than Twitter. While many of the leads posted can only be accessed through membership, you can join for a month, or sign up for “Curious cat” status and create a free profile that can be accessed by journalists.

mediakitty

 

5. MicroPR @MicroPR

Category: PR thought leader

This site is from Brian Solis, of PR 2.0, the book “Putting The Public Back in Public Relations” Buzzgain.com and more. Brian is an expert on technology PR so it’s not surprising that some leads are from those types of media outlets. MicroPR will often retweet PR leads from others on this top 10 list.

micropr1

 

6. Rick Sanchez (Editor’s note: he’s No longer at CNN but was at
the time this was written.)

Category: Media/media personalities

Rick Sanchez is an anchor/correspondent for CNN who mans the anchor desk at 3 pm daily. He’s one of the most avid Twitterers. Now just as #3 on this list was an indirect play, so is this one. That’s because the way to get on CNN is to tweet a response to a question Rick asks via his tweets.

ricksanchezcnn

 

7. Don Lemon @donlemoncnn

Category: Media/media personalities

Don Lemon anchors the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom. Similar to his CNN colleagues who tweet, he asks questions and opinions that he can in turn share on air. Again, the goal is to get on CNN, not to sell something.

Update: Success story! Meghan Sager  joined the conversation, sent in her question via Twitter and get acknowledged on air via anchor Don Lemon.

donlemoncnn

8. David Shuster/ 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue @Shuster1600

Category: Media/media personalities

David Shuster hosts an MSNBC show called “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” at 5 pm EST daily. Prior to that gig, he has filled in for other MSNBC hosts on their political/news commentary programs. On his show, he not only asks for questions that he reads on air, but also for videos as you can see from the sample tweet. Again, the goal here is to join the conversation and add value.

davidshuster

 

9. Bill Stoller/Publicity Guru @PublicityGuru

Category: PR thought leaders and PR professionals

Bill runs a popular PR newsletter that I’ve subscribed to for years called “Publicity Insider.” He’s a great resource for traditional PR tips and provides lots of value via his tweets. He sometimes has PR leads from his own sources as well as re-tweeting the PR leads of others.

publicityguru

10. Joan Stewart @PublicityHound

Category: PR thought leaders and PR professionals

I’ve been on Joan’s email list for years. She knows PR and publicity inside and out and has great tips about connecting with the media. And if you follow her, she will share the occasional nugget about PR and media in search for a certain expert.

publicityhound

I hope you find this list of value and can add some of your own. I expect the list to keep growing and will continue to monitor and track additional PR lead sources in the future.

Please leave your reply to this post.

Story

Highlights and Action Steps:
  • Time to review: 13 minutes
    • Leads come via various sources: some from online/offline media, other via on air mentions.
    • Twitter is a fast, easy and free way to accessPR leads on your area of expertise.
    • PR leads are grouped into these categories: media personalities, lead services, PR thought leaders/professionals and newswires.
  • Related Resources:
  • Action Steps:
    • If you are not on Twitter, sign up-can do so in under 3 minutes.
    • Follow the lead sources mentioned in this article.
    • Review the media list on Twitter and target reporters covering your topic.

Marc Harty is an online publicity expert, professional speaker, Internet marketing consultant and CEO of MainTopic Media, Inc. Marc’s Online PR Made Easy can help anyone at any skill level generate targeted web site traffic on autopilot.

  • great list!! Already following most..

  • great list!! Already following most..

  • Anonymous

    Marc, thank you for putting together this terrific article. I just learned how to use Twitter, and this is just what I needed!

  • Anonymous

    Marc, thank you for putting together this terrific article. I just learned how to use Twitter, and this is just what I needed!

  • I would add Vicky Akers – PRNewswire. She passes along helpful tips along with tweeting news stories, and I love that she adds personality!

    I also think there are other PR influencers and thought leaders who refer to themselves as marketers or social media marketers, and SEO experts. @JasonFalls, @GeoffLiving, @LeeOdden, and @problogger come to mind.

    The beauty of Twitter is that we can interact with many folks in different industries to discuss topics and share information. I’m not sure you can assess that type of community in such a tight, linear fashion!

    Thanks for the post.

  • I would add Vicky Akers – PRNewswire. She passes along helpful tips along with tweeting news stories, and I love that she adds personality!

    I also think there are other PR influencers and thought leaders who refer to themselves as marketers or social media marketers, and SEO experts. @JasonFalls, @GeoffLiving, @LeeOdden, and @problogger come to mind.

    The beauty of Twitter is that we can interact with many folks in different industries to discuss topics and share information. I’m not sure you can assess that type of community in such a tight, linear fashion!

    Thanks for the post.

  • An impressive post Mark and an impressive looking blog

    I see you quicky attracted over 1000+ followers on Twitter “organically” – it would be great to hear your thoughts on Twitter and how it fits into your overall business strategy sometime.

    I recently relistened to that 1hr consultation you gave me 1yr ago now; amazing how much more sense it made one year on!

    Best Regards
    Noel

  • An impressive post Mark and an impressive looking blog

    I see you quicky attracted over 1000+ followers on Twitter “organically” – it would be great to hear your thoughts on Twitter and how it fits into your overall business strategy sometime.

    I recently relistened to that 1hr consultation you gave me 1yr ago now; amazing how much more sense it made one year on!

    Best Regards
    Noel

  • Jim Bowman – ThePRDoc®

    Marc – Another great post, filled with stuff you can use. I hear frequently hear PR people (hide-bound traditionalists) questioning the value of Twitter. This post alone should be enough to sway them. I’ll pass this along.

  • Jim Bowman – ThePRDoc®

    Marc – Another great post, filled with stuff you can use. I hear frequently hear PR people (hide-bound traditionalists) questioning the value of Twitter. This post alone should be enough to sway them. I’ll pass this along.

  • Great list, Marc! Thought your readers might also be interested in this resource: Top PR Bloggers on Twitter
    http://tr.im/hrP8
    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  • Great list, Marc! Thought your readers might also be interested in this resource: Top PR Bloggers on Twitter
    http://tr.im/hrP8
    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  • Pingback: The Top 10 PR Lead Sources on Twitter « Public Relation()

  • Awesome resource Marc. I’ve been looking for something like this. PR is a major part of promotion that is most overlooked.

    Thanks 🙂

  • Awesome resource Marc. I’ve been looking for something like this. PR is a major part of promotion that is most overlooked.

    Thanks 🙂

  • Hey Marc,

    Your list was so perfectly timed for me, it’s amazing. I was in the midst of submitting a PR and stopped for a break checking in with Twitter. There was your tweet with the list. Now that’s timely!

    Thanks!

  • Hey Marc,

    Your list was so perfectly timed for me, it’s amazing. I was in the midst of submitting a PR and stopped for a break checking in with Twitter. There was your tweet with the list. Now that’s timely!

    Thanks!

  • Marc, thanks so much for the mention. I’m honored to be on the list.

  • Marc, thanks so much for the mention. I’m honored to be on the list.

  • Pingback: 24,500 Queries Later… Happy First Birthday, HARO! | The Home of Peter Shankman - Shankman.com()

  • Great list, I would add @charleneli

  • Great list, I would add @charleneli

  • Marc,
    Thanks for a great and informative post – and for having this wonderful blog.

    JIm

  • Marc,
    Thanks for a great and informative post – and for having this wonderful blog.

    JIm

  • Thank you, Marc. Happy to be on your list and in esteemed company. Welcome your friends and followers to try Media Kitty out and guide them through how we can help.

  • Thank you, Marc. Happy to be on your list and in esteemed company. Welcome your friends and followers to try Media Kitty out and guide them through how we can help.

  • Thank you for the very informative list Marc. It has already lead to further twitter connections and finds. I appreciate it. All the best … Ralph

  • Thank you for the very informative list Marc. It has already lead to further twitter connections and finds. I appreciate it. All the best … Ralph

  • Nicholas

    With push and pull PR are you trying to sue push and pull marketing concepts and apply them to PR, or is this an entirely different concept? I would argue that Pull PR is where the story bypasses the journalist and goes straight to the audience one wants.

  • Nicholas

    With push and pull PR are you trying to sue push and pull marketing concepts and apply them to PR, or is this an entirely different concept? I would argue that Pull PR is where the story bypasses the journalist and goes straight to the audience one wants.

  • Mercedes Millberry

    Thank you so much! What a valuable list. I was glad I had about half already in my group, but some great additions from your list. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mercedes Millberry

    Thank you so much! What a valuable list. I was glad I had about half already in my group, but some great additions from your list. Thank you for sharing.

  • Super list. I was happy to see that I’ve been subscribing to… and now following… most of these resources for a while.

  • Super list. I was happy to see that I’ve been subscribing to… and now following… most of these resources for a while.

  • Hi,
    Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

    Thank you
    AnnaHopn

  • Hi,
    Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

    Thank you
    AnnaHopn

  • Hey Marc,
    Thanks for the list – a great resource for me and my clients!!

  • Hey Marc,
    Thanks for the list – a great resource for me and my clients!!

  • Great article and list Marc. You’re on top of
    it as usual. Thanks.
    Here’s a funny twitter video if you want a laugh
    http://budurl.com/twitsphere

  • Great article and list Marc. You’re on top of
    it as usual. Thanks.
    Here’s a funny twitter video if you want a laugh
    http://budurl.com/twitsphere

  • Pingback: Twitted by alexahart()

  • It’s one thing to get a lead, it’s another thing to know what to DO with the lead.

    PR LEADS is the only service listed above that actually provides value-added services in which I teach people how to respond to leads, how to get their message across to reporters in a way reporters like to read messages, and I actually review messages from my clients. It’s no wonder why my clients get quoted more often than other sources.

    Additionally, PR LEADS offers services for consulting, strategy, writing press releases, writing pitch letters and creating media databases — all at reasonable fees.

    Thanks for the listing, Marc.

  • It’s one thing to get a lead, it’s another thing to know what to DO with the lead.

    PR LEADS is the only service listed above that actually provides value-added services in which I teach people how to respond to leads, how to get their message across to reporters in a way reporters like to read messages, and I actually review messages from my clients. It’s no wonder why my clients get quoted more often than other sources.

    Additionally, PR LEADS offers services for consulting, strategy, writing press releases, writing pitch letters and creating media databases — all at reasonable fees.

    Thanks for the listing, Marc.

  • What a great blog post! Thank you for sharing it on your blog.

  • Pingback: PR Leads Review: User Reviews, Coupons, and Special Offers!()

More Stories

30 Minute PR in 5 Minutes or Less

Welcome to 30MinutePR.com. Here, we talk Online PR, Publicity and Press Release tips on a time budget. In short, we share actionable tips and techniques that can be consumed and…