The practice of public relations encompasses a myriad of things from reputation management, to event planning, and of course securing media placements for our clients- serving as the most measurable and crucial component of the job. Generating substantial media coverage starts with constructing a solid media list.
A media list is comprised of the key media contacts that have the probability of featuring your client in their pieces. These contacts range from elite journalists and reporters, to bloggers and freelance writers.
There is a strategy behind building a media list as well as utilizing it effectively. Here are some tips for increasing the chances of generating newsworthy buzz for your roster of clients.
1. Keep A Master List
Although it is important to selectively target the media of most value to your client, it’s incredibly useful to keep one cohesive master list storing all your contacts. This will serve as your bible when it comes time to customize a pitch list geared towards a specific campaign. You can easily manage this master media list by creating categories for different types of media such as short lead and long lead or media pertaining to certain sectors or location. Air Table is a great tool to sort and filer your rapidly growing database of media personnel.
2. Update Your List
In this forever evolving industry, there is always role changes or unfortunately layoffs in the print space of media. Your media contacts will often change roles or transition into a different sector of expertise. It is vital to keep yourself in the loop of these changes by periodically reading industry news so you know when media outlets are launching, shifting online, or ceasing publication. Cision is a great subscription-based service for instantly getting the latest updates as well as making it easy to export a list of target journalists.
3. Find The Right Contact
It cannot be stressed enough how vital it is to find the best person to contact from the media outlet. The last thing you want to do is waste and editor or producer’s precious time. The person you are directing your pitch or query to should have responsibility or an interest in the topic of your story. For instance, if I want my restaurant client to be featured in Cosmopolitan for a happy hour story or restaurant round up, I need to direct my pitches to the food editor.
4. Research Media Outlets
Do your homework, always! Conduct research on the media outlets you add to your media lists. Now what topics they cover, the medium (Online, Radio, TV etc.) as well as the readership and unique visitors per month (UVM). Taking note of the frequency of media outlets as well as editorial calendars and deadlines will increase your chances of securing coverage. This is all useful to track in your notes of your media list.