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Top 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn for PR

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LinkedIn has made its name as the online hub for finding a job or networking with industry peers. What most people don’t know is its incredible ability to generate publicity for your company or your event. LinkedIn has more than 200 million users, including the journalists and bloggers who can produce stories about your newsworthy activities, and quote you as an industry leader. Read through our 10 ways to better use LinkedIn as an effective tool for earned media placements, and more!

1. Research Appropriate Media Targets 
Look up the media contact you’d like to connect with and learn: where they worked previously, the awards they’ve won, where they went to school, which LinkedIn Groups they’ve joined, etc. Get insight on LinkedIn that can help you to make a stronger pitch through traditional email channels

2. Make Connections
Once you have had an offline conversation with a journalist or blogger, it is fair game to send an invitation to “connect” with them through LinkedIn. Once connected, be careful about which pitches to send them; think of LinkedIn as a private “nudge” to a personal contact that should only be used when you have the perfect story for them.

3. Ask a Friend to Pitch for You
LinkedIn’s core purpose is to make connections – either with people you know or people you want to know. If you’re seeking to connect with a journalist, you can request a LinkedIn connection to make the introduction. What’s better than a friend making the pitch on your behalf?

4. Post Educational, Topical Blogs 
Write educational, topical blog posts that reference the news that you’d like to promote. Post these blogs on your company webpage, with a LinkedIn “Share” button attached to the blog. If you like, you can subscribe to LinkedIn’s RSS feed, so that your company webpage blog posts will automatically show up as status updates to your company LinkedIn profile. We do recommend posting only the best of these blog posts so that your followers aren’t bombarded with updates. Be careful to educate; don’t pitch.

Tip: Blogs set you up as an expert in your industry, making you more attractive for journalists to ask for a quote in the industry stories they are writing.

5. Utilize LinkedIn Today
LinkedIn’s online magazine, LinkedIn Today, has millions of readers that could help you and your company be seen as a thought leader. Email the educational, topical blog posts that you created in step 4 for consideration of this valuable placement.

6. Ask for Recommendations on Your Product 
Like a company testimonial page, LinkedIn has a “recommendations” section. Don’t be shy, reach out to customers who are telling you on the phone and email how much they like your products or service. See if they would be willing to share their love on LinkedIn. Cultivate quotes from the widest variety of customer industries in order to make their quotes more useful for journalists and bloggers.

7. List Company Spokespeople as “Guest Possibilities” on your company product page 
Broadcast media producers, print journalists and even bloggers are always looking for great sources to quote for their stories. Make it easy for them to find the right people to quote by listing them, along with a short description on the area of expertise on your page. Don’t forget to link to their LinkedIn profile as well!

8. Start a Conversation with “Mentions” 
In your status update, start typing the name of the media or industry connection you’d like to draw the attention to. Put a link to your press release or online article that you want to talk about in the status update. The media contact you have connected with is informed in real time that they have been “mentioned” and a response will be much more likely than with an email.

Note: do this sparingly so you don’t spam them.

9. Create/Participate in Groups 
They say it’s easier to attract bees with honey than with vinegar, so why not attract more media contacts and bloggers by creating groups! Begin hosting discussions relevant to their beat and topic of interest, and participate in groups already in vibrant discussions. If you post relevant, helpful content you could watch your “connection requests” skyrocket.

Bonus: You can get ideas from topics and questions that come up over and over again in your industry as potential story ideas for future blogs and press releases.

10. Poll Your Groups and Followers 
Polls in groups let you to ask members in the group a question, and list up to 5 answer choices for members to vote on. It’s a fantastic way to gather data for a future press release! Try asking the question and then write, “in comments please tell us why you feel this way.”

Tip: To create a poll in a group from the group’s “Discussions” tab, click “Poll” next to the “Start a Discussion” section. Type your question in the “Ask a Question” box. Specify up to 5 answers for the group to choose from. Additional boxes will appear after you enter your first choice.

Are you looking for more thorough help utilizing LinkedIn for PR? We’d love to talk you through your plan and strategy. Shoot us an email or call (800) 838-3006 (Option 5).

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