Today the Minneapolis Star Tribune unveiled a different way for the media outlet to report on–and break–news online: #StribBizLive.
It’s not really a groundbreaking concept–a media outlet breaking and sharing news (as it happens) on Twitter. That’s been happening for years.
But, it is new for the Star Tribune–at least when it comes to reporting on Minnesota businesses. After all, only a handful of Strib business reporters are even ON Twitter at this point.
And, I believe it represents a new and different way for PR pros to pitch business news to the Strib
Now, you might say: PR folks have been pitching reporters on Twitter for years. Can’t argue with that. But, this is a more formalized approach. The Strib is ASKING for businesses to break news on the #StribBizLive hash tag (and blog, if it’s newsworthy). Plus, pitching reporters via Twitter (without them asking) has always seemed clumsy to me. Fine to engage them on Twitter, say “hi” and praise them for a recent story. But, to all out pitch them publicly on Twitter? That’s always felt odd to me.
And, finally, like I said above, not all Strib business reporters are even using Twitter. So, there’s that 🙂
But, the overall issue here is this: PR people need to think about how they break business news a bit in Minnesota.
With this approach, an online news asset is essential. Without it, what do you have to direct the Strib business reporters/editors to? (a PDF of your news release? Please.).
Here’s how I see this potentially working out.
Create an online asset to showcase news you’re hoping to break
Could come in the form of a blog post. Could come in the form of a news release in their online newsroom. Could even come in the form of a PitchEngine news release. Whatever the case, you NEED an online form of your news to share via #StribBizLive.
Share–don’t pitch–your news
A nuanced approach goes a long ways here. Instead of straight “pitching” your news via #StribBizLive, try merely sharing your news. After all, that’s what the Strib is asking for. They’ll take care of the rest. So, for example, if I were to pitch the new Open Streets St. Paul event that occurred this past weekend (On the Green Line is a client of mine), I would have simply tweeted something like: “University Ave businesses in St Paul to be a part of first-ever #OpenStreetsStPaul this Sun: LINK HERE). The other side benefit to this approach is the Strib reporters would be wise to retweet news like this–which is essentially what they’re asking for (you break relevant business news, we’ll share it with our audience). See the difference?
Follow-up is key
After you’ve shared the story on Twitter using the #StribBizLive hash tag, remember to follow-up with the business page reporters to see if there’s interest in a hard copy story (still important and most likely a goal of your client/company). Or, a blog follow-up (see note below: as of Monday morning, the Strib Biz Live was not up).
What’s great about this pitching/sharing approach with the Strib is you’ll have fewer people and companies to compete with. At least that’s my gut. We’ll see how it goes this week as the Strib launches the new approach. But, with fewer PR people on Twitter than you might think (most have accounts by now, but few actually use them on a day-to-day basis, I’d argue), you’ll have fewer “competitors.”
What do you think?
Note: The Strib is also promising to break news throughout the day on the “Strib Biz Live” blog, but as of 8:25 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16, I couldn’t find any evidence of it online just yet.