Did you know that there are free ways to secure publicity for your photography business?
It’s true! Sometimes, with very little effort and at no cost to you other than a few minutes of your time, you can identify free media opportunities.
How I hear you ask? Well, simply by following the hashtag #journorequest on Twitter.
Every single day journalists use the journorequest hashtag (#journorequest) within their ‘tweets’ on Twitter.
They do this because they’re seeking experts, stories, photographs or anecdotes for the articles that they are working on.
Using Twitter, they can reach a global audience quickly and easily. They can crowd-source tips, experts, case studies and resources for their articles.
Since Twitter has around 275 million users currently, they know that it’s highly likely that there is someone using that platform and following the journorequest hashtag who can provide exactly what they are looking for.
What I’m suggesting is that in the future, that person could be you!
Why do journalists favour Twitter?
Why Twitter? Well, Twitter is where journalists hang out in vast numbers online. A 2019 report by Muck Rack identified that 83% of journalists consider Twitter the most valuable social media platform.
The platform is usually where you’ll discover breaking news first. It’s fast-moving, it’s easy to use and it has a variety of features which lends itself to quick and easy direct communication between Twitter users.
Twitter seems to be the least favoured social media platform among the professional photographers I know. But if you’re serious about sourcing publicity, it’s well worth being active on there.
Related reading: Twitter chats for photographers
How #journorequest works
If you’re prepared to scan through the latest thread of tweets that include the journorequest hashtag, you may find a suitable PR opportunity for your business.
Let’s get clear on how it works:
- Journalists include the hashtag in their tweets outlining what/who they are looking for
- PRs (like myself) and PR-Savvy business owners follow the hashtag and respond to any relevant opportunities with a simple ‘reply’, direct message or private email.
So, it’s simply a case of reviewing the opportunities and declaring your interest to any that seem relevant. Then, you can take it further if the journalist wishes to get more information from you.
Ultimately, if you’re able to provide what the journalist is after, you could find yourself being featured in their article!
Five reasons to use #journorequest
1. It’s free and easy to use
Twitter and the journorequest hashtag is brilliant for anyone who is looking to source media publicity for their business. That’s because it’s quick and easy to use, and it’s completely free!
Without going to the effort of creating a press release or crafting a proactive media pitch – which can take time – you can pitch yourself to a journalist and potentially generate press coverage as a result of a few minutes of effort.
2. It’s widely used
Everyone from aspiring journalists to those working on the news or feature desks of high-profile national publications use the journorequest hashtag, so there are hundreds of opportunities shared on Twitter each day.
It’s incredibly popular as a means of sharing and discovering media opportunities and has been for many years now, with no signs of losing its appeal.
3. You can discover journalists to connect with
Search for the journorequest hashtag and you can identify journalists who are active on Twitter. It’s well worth building up a Twitter list of journalists who are relevant to your industry and geographical area.
Follow them if you wish, and/or add them to a list. Either way, be sure to keep a record of relevant journalists and their Twitter profiles so you can refer back to them later and get in touch when you have something to share.
4. You can keep up-to-date
By following journalists on Twitter, you can gain valuable insight into what is topical and newsworthy.
If you’re trying to source PR opportunities for your photography business, keeping abreast of the news agenda is important. That way, you can potentially identify opportunities for newsjacking yourself into the press.
Following along will also help you to discover what journalists are writing about, relevant to your industry. It’s easy to presume that your business is newsworthy when in fact a journalist may think otherwise!
Keeping an eye on what journalists are looking for will gives you an idea of what is and isn’t likely to make the news.
5. To get the PR-bug!
It can be incredibly satisfying to respond to a journorequest and get a positive response. Even better if you manage to get featured in the media as a result!
Getting involved in PR by using the journorequest hashtag is the simplest way to try promoting your photography business via the media.
I can guarantee that if you start getting results from using this free pr tool, then you’ll soon get the taste for publicity. You’ll want to keep getting featured in the press – it’s addictive!
For all these reasons, I believe that the journorequest hashtag is an absolute goldmine for photographers and all small business owners who are seeking publicity.
While there is far more to PR than the journorequest hashtag, this is a brilliant place to start when you’re trying to source PR opportunities to promote your photography business.
Twitter is easy to use (once you know how!) and so it’s absolutely worth your while getting familiar with the platform. It could prove to be an invaluable place for you to spend some time. If your hope is to get you and your photography business featured in the media, this is a great place to start.
How to make #journorequest work for you
Accept that relevant opportunities may be few and far between
Although I’m suggesting that #journorequest can be incredibly useful, it’s also important to realise that the number of relevant opportunities may be very limited.
Depending on what you do, there could be lots of journorequests you feel you could help with. Or, you may find that discovering a request specific to you and your business is more like finding a needle in a haystack.
You’ll need to check #journorequest regularly to increase your chances of success. You’ll also want to consider other PR activities – this alone is not a PR strategy!
Approach it with the right attitude
Journalists need people like you to help them. They need information and contacts, they may need photographs, stories, case studies and anecdotes. They might be working to a tight deadline and may need your help quickly.
While this may prove to be a slight inconvenience, to have to drop something you’re working on to prioritise the journalist, if you can provide what they need quickly, you could be repaid in valuable media publicity for your photography business.
The overall advice here is to aim to serve journalists. Give them what they’re after and prioritise getting back to them. Do what you say you’ll do. Follow through with your offer of information/tips/quotes.
Make responding to journalists a priority in your business.
Remember, there is likely to be someone else as relevant as you and as keen as you to be featured in the journalist’s article, so if an opportunity comes up, don’t waste it.
Keep the long-term gain in mind
Even if you don’t spot opportunities that you can help with, it’s always worth connecting the journalist with other people you know who can.
Making a journalist’s life easier is a great way to establish a relationship with them and may serve you well in the longer-term.
Becoming known as someone who is responsive and efficient will help you as you build your profile and reputation.
Don’t expect a response from the journalist
Journalists don’t usually have time to respond to everyone who reacts to their journorequest, so accept that your reply may well be ignored.
Even if you don’t hear back from the journalist after you’ve responded to a journorequest, don’t be disheartened! Keep looking for other opportunities. Chances are there will be others just around the corner.
A free PR tool you’d be crazy to ignore!
The journorequest hashtag really is a fantastic tool and if you’re seeking publicity for your photography business, I’d urge you to go and check it out.
The best thing of all, it literally takes minutes to respond to a journalist on Twitter, yet the return could potentially be worth thousands of pounds in media coverage.
So, do ensure to make some time each day to check out the latest tweets featuring the #journorequest hashtag and see what you uncover!
A final tip….
As well as the main #journorequest hashtag, there are also other similar hashtags which are widely used on Twitter.
Do also check out #journorequests and #prrequest when looking for opportunities – some different ones may come up to the ones you find on the main #journorequest hashtag.
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