Media List 2021: How To Create One

11 mins read

The only safe way to do effective media relations is to target specific journalists and influencers with information you want to share. You need to have people who will cover your event or press release and why – so that means you have to do your research and create your media list.

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Media List Definition

A good list of media contacts for press releases helps you bring your brand news to the attention of reporters and get publicity. Ultimately, if you are sending out a press release or PR pitch, you want to target the right audience. Below, I’ll show you how to create a media list in several easy steps.

The media list is crucial to your PR work because it’ll be an accurate and dynamic resource for the key contacts who may be interested in your stories. Also, this will be the best place to share them with your target audience.

Should You Build or Buy a Media List?

PR pros may need long lists having hundreds or thousands of names and email addresses. It’s possible to purchase media lists, but this decision includes the risk to buy a pig in a poke. In addition, there is another more reliable way – to use the PRNEWS.IO tool.

This service already has a credible and significant list of publishers and journalists. With their huge experience, they know how to be published in authoritative newspapers and magazines. 

However, if you decide to do it yourself, check out the steps below to create an excellent media list.

How to Create the Media List

To build your business’ thought leadership and demonstrate expertise in your field, you must be strategic about who and where you generate your media coverage. 

Let’s divide the process into the easy steps:

Define Your Target Audience

The first thing you need to decide when building your PR media list is who your target audience is and how best to reach them. Start by researching what your target audience is interested in and from which sources they prefer to consume information, including via blogs, websites, TV programs, newspapers, or magazines. 

Understanding this means knowing which media contacts you’ll want to add to your media contact list.

Identify Journalists and Media Outlets

When building a media list, it is important to find the best representative to contact from the media outlet. This person should have responsibility for and an interest in the topic of your story.

It is important to run research into relevant media outlets. You should find out what topics they cover, the medium (online, radio, etc.), and the readership or audience size.

Take note of how often the media outlets publish or produce new content. For example, a blog may publish posts daily but a magazine will often be issued monthly. Understanding the editorial calendar and the deadlines of the media you’re targeting will give your story the best chance of being heard.

Look at articles written about your topic in your target media outlet and note the journalists who wrote these stories. It is also helpful to notice the job titles of journalists, producers, and reporters. Often their particular field of expertise will be reflected in their job title, for example ‘social affairs reporter’.

It’s better not to send your media release or pitch to the email address for general inquiries, as often it will not reach the right person at the media outlet directly and postpone the response. Ensure you don’t write to several people at the same media outlet as they may feel that you are spamming them. To find media contact details, you can visit the media outlet’s website where they may list staff email addresses and phone numbers, or call the media outlet directly for information.

Organize Your Contacts

It is important to organize your media list into a database such as an excel spreadsheet. 

It is also a good idea to categorize your list into different categories for the type of media outlet. For example, you could create a category with your blogging contacts and a separate category for your magazine contacts.

Keeping your information well structured will mean you can easily digest the information, and locate information quickly.

What Information Goes on a Media List?

The contact information on a media list should include the contact details necessary to reach out to journalists, editors, and bloggers. Here are the sections for a media list example:

  • Name of magazine, journal, newspaper, or blog
  • Website URL
  • Journalist name
  • Job title
  • Email address
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Subjects covered or “beats”
  • Notes

Keep your list simple. The temptation is to have too much information, needlessly inflating your workload. For example, are the social accounts of the journalists really necessary to send your story or press release? Also, you will likely send a story via email so a phone number is optional, at best.

Update your list

It is important to refresh your list regularly, as your media contacts will often change, increase or move into a different field of expertise.

Check out industry news so you can be aware of the changes, so you know when media outlets are launching, shifting online, or ceasing publication and so you are aware when new editors or producers have been changed. Keeping eye on the changes within media outlets will guarantee that your media list stays up-to-date.

Having a great media list is an important start when looking to engage with the media and gain media coverage for your company. Use the media contacts to shed light.

How to Use the PR Media List to Get Published?

Even if you have a long list of contacts of all the relevant media representatives and influencers who write about your topic, you still need to make your pitch feel personal.

Just because you are reaching them with your outreach efforts does not mean you’re on their radar.

  • Are they aware of you and your brand?
  • Are they interested in your story idea?
  • Are they excited about sharing your press release with their audience?

If that is not the case, a list of names and email addresses will not help you.

What you need to do is connect on a more personal level with people on your list. They should have heard from you at least once or become interested from the first lines before you send them a press release or a story pitch.

How do you build a good relationship with a journalist?

By starting a conversation. This is where the Conversation Starter articles are becoming useful. All this is making sense now, isn’t it? This is crucial:

  • Start conversations with relevant media representatives on your list before you plan the launch date of your product or service. 
  • Continue these conversations until you have built a solid relationship with that journalist. 
  • After that when you need media coverage, you’ll be able to contact these reporters not as a random stranger, but rather as an acquaintance who wants to share a story with their audience.

To Sum Up

A contact list is worth your efforts. A list simplifies the story pitching process very much. When you have all contact details in one doc, you are ready for PR outreach 24/7.

FAQ: Media List

📍What is a media list?

A PR media list is a list of media representatives. A media list is where you collect the contacts of the reporters, publications, bloggers, websites, and influencers creating content about your business and brands like yours.

📍How to create a media list?

Here are five simple steps to create an excellent media list. Start by identifying the market you hope to reach with your information. Then choose the media contacts. Next, create a spreadsheet. After this gather all contact details and other information. Add notes and update your PR media lists from time to time.

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Daria Nartya

Hi! My name is Daria. I’m a content-manager, SMM, English, Ukrainian, Russian translator, have a master's degree in Finances, but I can't do somersaults. My copywriting goal is to help businesses get their message across to the audience and receive the most out of it. Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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