Creating a media list is a fundamental part of running an effective PR campaign. You need to know who your new client wants to reach, which can be very general (real estate) or very specific (property managers of apartments). Once that is nailed down you can begin to curate a list that will produce the maximum results for your client. Believe it or not, creating a good media list takes a lot of practice, but can go a long way in meeting your PR goals. Here’s a list of useful tips for building that solid media list:
Start with a Database
Cision, SRDS and Finderbinder are just a few options that provide a good place to start. These databases provide easy access to contacts and metrics. If you can’t find the emails on the website, there is often a “contact us” form that you can use instead to access the editors, writers and other contributors.
Get a Little Creative
There will be publications that aren’t on your database that should be part of your lists. Once you have an initial list, you can Google what you’re looking for or look at association sites to find additional publications. Some sites make finding editorial contacts a challenge. They won’t offer email addresses (because, spam) so you might have to fill out a contact form (worth it) or, we’ve found searching online for company email address formats can help as well. These may seem tricky or a lot of work, but if you really want the list to be the best it can, you’re going to have to put some elbow grease into the search.
Use Social Media
Most editors and writers will use their social media accounts to share their own stories or other interesting stories from the publication – use this to your advantage. These editors might include contact information in their About section, but you can and should reach out on Twitter as well. Email might be your go-to way to contact, but consider that some individuals might check their Twitter more than their email.
The best list is always growing, so even if you’ve gathered hundreds of contacts, your list will lose value if you let it lay dormant. You won’t need to give it the same attention as you did when you were building it, but it’s a good idea to go through the publication sites and see if there are any new staff, or if the emails have been updated. Look out for new publications on the rise as well, and build those relationships early. Keeping the list updated continuously will save you time and also help increase coverage and results for your client.
Although a lengthy project, curating and maintaining a media list is an important step in helping your clients meet their goals. Rather than thinking of it as just another task, think of it as a crucial first step to getting commentary in a tier-1 publication.
What are your media list tips? Tweet us @lrgmarketing.