I recently got a “screen time” alert breaking down how many hours I spent on my phone in the past week. It calculated everything from how many times I picked up my phone to the number of hours I spent on social networking apps. (Let’s just say I turned that notification off immediately and indefinitely.)

However, I realized the silver lining (I think?) is that most people my age (I’m 26) probably use their phones just as much as I do. So, when it comes to pitching, I realized my best bet is to reach out on social media first, especially if it’s to another person my age.

Below are a few helpful check points before reaching out to ensure you get a response (and a fast one):

Gauge Age, Usage, and Location

The same goes for pitching on social media as it does for email: do your research before reaching out. If you’re about to pitch a reporter who’s in their 60s or 70s, I suggest calling or emailing before DMing them on Instagram as they may 1) not check Instagram that much and 2) think your notification is a phone update and be too scared to open it #mymomisguiltyofthis.

Another way to figure out how to pitch someone is to see how an editor uses various social media channels and then reaching out accordingly based on their activity. For example, if a writer is posting pictures of their dogs or kids on Instagram but constantly posts their articles or relevant pieces on Twitter, then reach out on Twitter.

One way to figure out how to pitch someone is to see how they use social media channels and then reaching out accordingly based on their activity. If they post pictures of their dogs on Instagram but post their articles on Twitter, reach out on Twitter. Click To Tweet

Another thing to do before reaching out is to check an Instagram story or recent post to see if the person you’re pitching is away. If they are, then hold off. But if they aren’t (or you can’t tell), then go for it!

All in all, use your discretion as it could make the difference between going unseen and getting a story.

Is This “Sliding-into-the-DMs” Worthy?

You may feel a bit invasive DMing someone you’ve never spoken to before, especially about a client. The good news is that this isn’t an uncommon way to reach out to reporters nowadays. In fact, they’re pretty used to it. If you answer “Yes” to at least a few of the below, you’re in the clear to reach out:

  • Is this time sensitive?
  • Is this relevant to their coverage?
  • Would they be interested in this?
  • Are there free samples?

However, given all the above, face time is still crucial. So, whether you do decide to reach out on Instagram, email, or on the phone, always ask when you can get together in person.

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