A media list is one of the most essential resources every #PRgirl needs. It is widely used as a database to record contact information for all of your journalists, publication and news outlet editors and front desks to even media relations liaisons at various companies and organizations. The media list will sure come in handy when you're ready to hit "Send" on a press release or media advisory, or when there is a pitching opportunity that's bound to happen.
The biggest challenge a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs have will probably be the lack of funds to get a savvy media software to search accurate contacts. But even that may be tricky. Some journalists may write for multiple publications, some are freelancers and some may be with a news outlet one year and out the next. Journalism is changing and so it's a constant battle of trying to have the most up-to-date information.
But don't worry. This is why the Internet is so awesome and that's why social media has changed the game. I mean look, it's not as bad as going through magazines or newspapers' mastheads to find names. Everything is right in front of you. You just have to be strategic when compiling your media lists. *side eye + wink*
So where do you start and how do you do it?
Here are six easy steps to kickstart your media lists:
What's Your Angle?
Your pitch can vary—it can be a product launch, an upcoming event or an announcement of a new partnership or collaboration. Your angle determines which types of journalists to pitch to, industry, and medium. You don't have to pitch to a radio station in California if your audience is in New York, and likewise to a fashion magazine if your pitch is about aviation products. Your angle definitely impacts your outreach, so think that first and foremost before you start researching for contacts.
Keepin' Up With the Clouds
The most convenient way to develop a media list is if it's electronically, and more specifically in the cloud. Try Google Drive for example. If you are creating a media list on a notebook or have to save it to your laptop or thumb-drive....well that sucks. Don't worry about saving, when it can auto-save it for you. And if it's accessible via your phone—even better.
Go Beyond the E-Mail Address
A media list collects more than just emails and to be honest it depends on the nature of your pitch. I've created media lists where a section for your mailing address was needed, and particularly the main reason was to send brand freebies to bloggers and target influencers. I've also created a list where an mailing address section was not needed, but rather their main email and social accounts were needed. Check out my sample media list(s) to get a glimpse of different categories and assets that can be added.
Find Them On Social Media
This is probably the only part time when virtually stalking a point of contact is okay. Social media is everything and by everything I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Use LinkedIn as your modern phone book. Majority of the time, you can see their contact information including their email, website or additional social pages.
Pay attention to the Twitter and Instagram bios. We all know how fancy we like to get when crafting a bio, me for example, but seriously...there is a chance you'll find their email address. Like myself, I am an avid reader of several blogs and fashion pubs—so I instantly know where and what their socials are. If needed, you can also check out @Media_Moves on Twitter.
Don't Ignore Bylines
I mentioned that I follow several pubs on a regular basis, well if you are a sucker for subscriptions and alerts, then follow some to your liking. Pay attention to the reporters that write for those beats, pay attention to the bloggers....
Did I Forget the Bloggers?
Some may think that a media list will only consist of contacts from the newspaper, TV, magazine or trade industry—which btw is so traditional. In this day, bloggers are just as important to a client's outreach than ever. Because press has grown moreso digitally and widespread to citizen journalism and influential media, bloggers have the same impact of coverage as would a placement in magazine would be. Don't overlook your local bloggers, or smaller blogs at that matter.
And that's pretty much it. Producing a media list just one of many first steps. Note that I said one of many, lol. More on that in my next posts. Good luck!