Is it smart to pitch reporters on social media?

By Mark Macias

Is it ever appropriate to pitch reporters and producers on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts? I belong to a private Facebook group for publicists and members of the media. An editor just posted a note to all members about that topic. She wrote:

“At the risk of offending some people in this group, I must impart a little known truth upon you all: Every time an editor on deadline is pitched via Facebook (or Instagram, or Twitter) DM, an angel loses its wings. True story. Don’t let your pitch be the reason. Emails are awesome.”

I am connected on Facebook to many close friends in PR and the media. Understandably, the social connection gives the illusion that we are close, and even friends. Unless you hang out with them, I’m sorry to break the news to you, but you are not BFFs.

Should you pitch reporters on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

All friendships and personalities are different, so when it comes to reporters, one approach doesn’t fit all. Pitching the media is individualized. However, you should be conscious of a reporter’s privacy. During my time with CBS, publicists would immediately send me a friend request after meeting me.

I usually accepted because I didn’t want to offend them. However, that connection didn’t make us friends on a personal level.

Fortunately for MACIAS PR, our contacts in the media are personal and authentic. As a producer and Executive Producer, I worked side-by-side with these journalists during snow storms, holidays and breaking news. It builds a bond.

But even with that connection, I still don’t pitch former colleagues on social media. If we’re really close to them, I text them.

Macias PR was named the 2017 Strategic PR Firm of the Year and 2016 and 2015 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.