Media list building is PR 101. However, regardless if you’re new to the PR industry or a seasoned expert, media lists are an essential tool, and building and maintaining a thorough media list shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are my top tips for keeping your media list top-notch.
Create a Starting Point
In the PR industry, there are a variety of helpful tools to assist you in your initial search and guide your media list in the right direction. Most media databases allow users to search for reporters and publications by topics and interests.
Whether you’re creating a general media list or one that’s catered to a specific product, start by casting a wide net and boiling it down. For example, if you’re pitching a new smartwatch, you may start off searching for technology reporters, but end up narrowing the list down to reporters who specifically cover wearable technology.
Count on Your Best Friend, Google
While tools like Cision and Tech News are reliable media databases, your media list building shouldn’t start and end there. Use Google to search relevant stories and see who has covered your specific topic in the past. You can even use that article as a reference when pitching the reporter to show you’ve done your research, which leads me to my next point.
Research, Research and More Research
If your best friend didn’t like peanuts, you wouldn’t offer them a PB&J, right? Well same goes for reporters…somewhat. Before pitching your client’s latest news or product announcement, it’s imperative to vet your contacts. Learn their beat, recent stories, interests and preferred method of outreach.
Pick up the Tab
The Excel tab, that is. Instead of creating endless Excel documents, utilize the tabs in your Excel document to sort and organize contacts. You can arrange your list however you choose, whether it’s by top tier, trade, local, bloggers or your clients different verticals. Making use of the tabs in your excel doc not only keeps contacts in order, but also allows you to search an entire workbook, instead of searching different Excel documents.
Media List Upkeep is Key
This may sound like a demotivational poster, but there is no finish line to a media list. Maintaining your media list is arguably just as important as building one altogether. People change jobs or get promoted on the daily. Therefore, you should always be updating your media lists. It’s easy to ignore a bounce back from an email when you’re focused on other tasks, but replacing old contacts will benefit you in the long run.
Have any media list tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Give us a shout in the comments.