Tips for Building an Effective Media List

September 14, 2015

When spreading client news, it’s critical to proactively create a well-planned media list. Assembling a media list may seem time consuming, but it can be one of the most important aspects in a communications plan and result in gaining earned media hits.

Below are three important tips for public relations professionals to consider when creating a media list:

 Target a specific audience:  When pulling together a list of potential media outlets to contact, it is important to know your intended audience. For example, if you are pitching a local story and want to reach an audience within a certain area, it’s not effective to pull a list of only national media outlets. Do a little research and focus on local broadcast, print and online outlets to find contacts who write about your topic.

Build Relationships: Professional relationships grow over time and they can be very instrumental in having a story picked up. Earning a contact’s trust is essential. It is also important to pinpoint the correct contact at an outlet or publication. For example, if pitching a story regarding healthcare, it is not strategic to reach out to the sports reporter.

Prepare early: A strong media list should be one of the first documents prepared. If a PR crisis arises unexpectedly, having a media list will help you better execute media outreach.

When reaching out to the media, always take the time to develop a comprehensive media list first. National databases, such as Vocus or Cision, can also serve as a strong tool to use when searching for contacts. Always remember quality over quantity. Ten strong contacts are much better than 100 irrelevant or outdated contacts.