A media database is essential to the public and media relations everywhere, yet it is useless without one.
You’re prepared to go public with knowledge that will fundamentally change everything because your firm has recently experienced some of the biggest news it has ever seen. The room is empty, even though you can see that there ought to be reporters inside. The only person who can hear your news is your Friend, who is sitting well in the back.
No matter how ground-breaking, heartwarming, or just great your news is, it won’t go passed your owned channels if you don’t know how to identify the most relevant journalists and media and the methods to contact them.
A media contact list, a global media database, a press database, a media database, a media list, and a public relations professional call list. Whichever name you know it by, it is a key tool for PR professionals and communications professionals in media and public relations everywhere.
What is a media contact list?
Media contact lists are used to compile a list of pertinent individuals who could be interested in writing about and reporting your news topic.
You can find information about contacts on media lists, such as their name, the media outlet they work for, the topics that interest them, their location, how to reach them, etc.
Later in this essay, I’ll go into greater detail on what additional information should be provided to the proper parties.
The next stage is to pitch the individuals on your targeted media list with your story or press release if you have a media list that you are satisfied with.
A media list might take on an entirely different appearance depending on factors like:
- Your business and where you are located
- Your contact information
- Your media connections
Should I Build or Buy a Media Contact List?:
Many people attempt to just go straight to buying a media contact list. While there is some validity to this, it is often preferable to compile a media list.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Media List
- You cannot send emails to lists you have purchased through reputable email marketing firms. While you can subscribe to a media database tool, you should be aware that the same list is used by others.
- The best email address databases are not for sale.
- The individuals on a bought list don’t genuinely know you.
- Your IP reputation and email delivery will suffer.
- You can come out as obtrusive.
- You may be penalized by your email service provider.
Build your own media list instead of purchasing one. This boosts your probability of success since you are pitching to journalists who are looking for stories similar to yours.
When purchasing a media contact list, there is a chance that the contact information may be obsolete or just plain wrong but building yours ensures that your media contact list is correct and up-to-date.
Five Points To Consider When Building a Media Contact List
When making a media list, there are five fundamental principles that you must bear in mind.
All of these factors should be taken into account when creating a media list to help promote the success of your campaign.
- Contact Relevancy
- Contact Accuracy
- Delivery Success Rate
- Spam Triggers
- Open Rate
When building your media contact list, it’s important to consider contact relevancy. This entails making sure that the contacts on your list who are most pertinent to your niche or sector are interested in the information you’re pitching.
Contact relevancy can help you create lasting connections with the media and boost the likelihood that your pitches will be accepted and published.
Ultimately, taking the time to build a targeted and relevant media contact list can lead to more successful PR campaigns and increased visibility for your brand or business.
Another important point to consider when building your media contact list is media contact database accuracy.
This entails making sure that the contact details you have for every journalist or media outlet on your list are correct and current.
Inaccurate contact information can lead to wasted time, missed opportunities, and a poor impression of the media.
To ensure contact accuracy, it’s a good idea to regularly check and update your list, and use reliable sources for contact information such as media databases, online directories, and social media lists.
Delivery Success Rate:
The delivery success rate is an important point to consider when building your media contact list. This refers to the likelihood that your messages or pitches to clients will successfully reach the intended recipient.
It’s crucial to make sure that your emails are personalized, pertinent, and engaging and that you adhere to best practices for email outreach, such as avoiding spam triggers and utilizing a trustworthy email service provider, to increase your delivery success rate.
Spam triggers are an important point to consider when building your media contact list. These are words or phrases that may trigger email filters and cause your messages to be marked as spam or not delivered at all.
To avoid triggering spam filters, it’s important to use relevant and personalized messaging, avoid using excessive capitalization or punctuation, and refrain from using certain words or phrases commonly associated with spam.
The open rate, which measures the proportion of emails that recipients open, is a crucial number for gauging the effectiveness of your email marketing.
To improve your open rate, it’s important to ensure that your subject lines are engaging, clear, and accurately reflect the content of your email.
Your subject line should be compelling enough to entice the recipient to open your email, but not so sensational that it appears misleading.
How to create your list of media contacts and journalists
Building your list of the right journalists and media contacts can be a time-consuming but rewarding process. To create your list, follow these suggestions:
- Determine who your target market is
- Research media outlets
- Create a spreadsheet
- Use media databases
- Attend events
- Leverage social media
- Build relationships
Determine who your target market is:
Determine your target audience, or the group of people you hope to reach with your message or story before you start developing a list of media contacts.
Here are several methods for determining your target audience:
- Define your goals: Establishing your goals before determining your target audience is crucial. What do you want to achieve with your media outreach? Do you want to raise awareness for your brand, drive website traffic, or generate leads? Defining your goals will help you identify the right audience for your message.
- Conduct market research: Conducting market research can help you better understand your target audience and their needs. This can include surveys, focus groups, and other research methods.
- Look at your existing customer base: Look at your existing customer base to identify common demographics, interests, and behaviors. This can aid in your understanding of your target market and the media outlets and journalists most likely to connect with them.
- Analyze your competitors: Analyze your competitors to identify their target audience and the types of media outlets and journalists they are targeting. This can help you identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and reach a different audience.
Once you’ve determined who your target market is, you can begin compiling a list of journalists and media contacts.
Look for media outlets and specific journalists, that cover topics that are relevant to your target audience, and focus on building relationships with those contacts and find journalists that have a history of covering similar topics.
Research media outlets:
Once you’ve identified your target audience, research the media outlets and journalists that cover specific subjects and topics related to your brand or organization.
You may find out the kinds of stories they cover, the writers of their pieces, and the best way to approach them by investigating media outlets. Following are some pointers for studying media organizations:
- Identify relevant media outlets: Find media outlets that deal with subjects that are important to your company or brand. Traditional media outlets belong within this category, and some examples include newspapers, magazines, and TV stations. Additionally included are blogs and online publications.
- Look at their coverage: Once you’ve located the appropriate media outlets, have a look at their coverage to gain a better idea of the subjects they cover and the perspectives they adopt. This might assist you in customizing your pitches for the particular media.
- Identify journalists: Find the journalists who contribute to the media outlets that interest you. Look for journalists who have written stories related to your brand or organization, and make note of their contact information.
- Review their submission guidelines: Many media outlets have submission guidelines that outline how to pitch a story to their newsroom. Review these guidelines carefully and follow them when pitching your story.
- Follow them on social media: To better understand their interests and the kinds of stories they’re working on, follow the media sites and journalists you’re interested in on social media.
By researching media outlets, you can build a targeted list of contacts and increase your chances of successfully pitching your story to the right journalist at the right outlet.
Armed with this, you can send personalized pitches to your targeted list. You will not just be sending articles or blog posts, rather you will be sending email pitches crafted to increase open rate and most importantly, media coverage.
Create a spreadsheet:
Create a spreadsheet to track your media contacts, including their name, title, media outlet, email address, and other relevant, contact details and information. You may also want to include notes on their areas of interest and past coverage. Here are some tips for creating a spreadsheet:
- Start with the basics: Create columns for the journalist’s name, outlet, beat or topic, email address, phone number, and social media handles. These basic fields will give you a good starting point for organizing your list.
- Add additional fields: You could wish to increase the number of fields in your spreadsheet depending on your objectives and requirements. This could include columns for the journalist’s publication frequency, their preferred pitching method, and any notes or comments you have about your interaction with them.
- Keep your list up to date: As you continue to build your media contact list and journalists, be sure to keep your spreadsheet up to date. This can include regularly updating contact information, adding new journalists, and removing outdated contacts.
- Use color coding: Color coding your spreadsheet can help you quickly identify important information. For example, you could use a different color for journalists who have covered your brand in the past, or for journalists who have a high open rate for your pitches.
- Share your spreadsheet: Consider sharing your spreadsheet with team members who might be engaged in media outreach if you’re working in a group. By doing this, you can make sure that everyone is working from the same knowledge and using the same list.
By creating a spreadsheet to organize your social media links, contact list, and journalists, you can keep track of important information and increase your chances of successfully pitching your story to the right person.
Use media databases:
There are several media databases available that can help you identify and contact journalists and media outlets.
These databases are comprehensive lists of media outlets, journalists, and editorial calendars, and they can be used to research and identify new media contacts, this media database helps track journalists’ coverage areas and plan your media outreach.
By using a media database, you can quickly identify relevant media outlets and journalists, track their contact information and coverage areas, and stay up to date with editorial calendars recent articles, and press releases.
Some popular options include Cision, Muck Rack, and HARO (Help a Reporter Out). This can help you save time.
Attending events is an important point to consider when building your media contacts and relationships with journalists because it provides opportunities to meet, network, and establish connections with journalists and other media professionals.
Events such as conferences, trade shows, and press events can give you the chance to interact with journalists in person and pitch your story ideas or products.
Leverage social media:
Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can also be a great way to identify and connect with relevant journalists and media contacts.
Leveraging social media is an important strategy to consider when building your media contacts and relationships with journalists.
It might be beneficial to interact with journalists and keep up with their work through social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Developing strong relationships with journalists can help you get your story or message in front of a wider audience and increase your chances of securing media coverage.
Here are some pointers for connecting with journalists:
- Personalize your outreach: Take the time to customize your message and explain why your story or message would be relevant to their audience when contacting journalists. Avoid sending generic, mass emails or messages.
- Provide value: Offer value to journalists by sharing insights, data, or exclusive content that they may find useful for their reporting. By providing value, you can establish yourself as a trusted source and increase your chances of securing coverage.
- Be responsive: When a journalist reaches out to you, respond promptly and professionally. Being responsive can help you establish a good rapport with journalists and make them more likely to reach out to you for future stories.
- Keep in touch: Stay in touch with journalists over time by following up after stories are published, sharing updates about your company or industry, and offering insights or data that may be relevant to their reporting.
- Offer exclusives: Offering exclusives to journalists can help build a relationship of trust and make them more likely to work with you in the future.
Overall, building relationships with journalists is crucial for securing media coverage and getting your message in front of a wider audience.
Media contact lists management
Managing your own social media accounts contact list involves several steps:
- Create a comprehensive list of all the media outlets, journalists, and other media professionals you want to target. This list should include their names, contact information, and other relevant details such as their beat, publication or outlet, and any specific interests or areas of expertise.
- Sort the items on your list in the order that suits you best. You can use a spreadsheet or a customer relationship management (CRM) program to keep track of your contacts and interactions.
- By routinely adding new contacts and deleting out-of-date ones, you can keep your list current.
- Segment your list based on relevant criteria such as beat, outlet, or location.
- Add notes and tags to your contacts to keep track of previous interactions, interests, and other relevant details.
- Regularly engage with your contacts by providing value with updates, insights, or exclusive content.
Overall, managing your media contact list is crucial for building and maintaining relationships with journalists and other media professionals.
How to maintain your media relationships
To maintain your media partnerships with clients, you should follow these steps;
- Maintain communication with your media allies: Provide your media partners with exclusive content and insights they can utilize in their reporting while keeping them informed of your most recent news and updates.
- Provide value: Continue to provide value to your media partners by offering access to industry experts, data, or other resources that can enhance their coverage.
- Build relationships: Nurture your relationships with your media partners by staying in touch and showing genuine interest in their work.
- Be responsive: Respond to media inquiries promptly and be available to provide additional information or insights as needed.
- Evaluate and adjust: Regularly evaluate the success of your media partnerships and adjust your approach as needed.This may involve refining your value proposition or identifying new media partners that better align with your goals.
By maintaining your media partnerships, you can increase your media exposure further, build a positive reputation, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Journalists vs Influencers
Journalists and influencers are two distinct types of media professionals. Journalists work for established news organizations and typically follow journalistic ethics and standards when reporting news and sharing information.
They are in charge of producing unbiased, thoroughly researched information that is meant to enlighten and educate their audience.
On the other side, influencers are those who have a big social media following and the ability to change the opinions and behavior of their followers.
They often create content related to their personal interests, or lifestyle and collaborate with brands to promote products or services.
While both journalists and influencers can reach a large audience, they differ in their approach to creating and sharing content.
Manage and Grow Media Relationships
To effectively manage and grow media relationships, it’s important to prioritize personalized communication, respect reporters’ time and deadlines, and provide valuable, relevant information that aligns with their interests and beats.
This can involve regularly pitching new story ideas, offering exclusive access to executives or events, and responding promptly to any inquiries or requests.
Additionally, it’s important to continually monitor and evaluate the impact of media relationships, to identify areas for improvement and refine future outreach efforts.
Media database provider evaluation
When selecting a media database provider, it’s important to ask key questions about the quality of the data, features, functionality, customer support, and pricing models offered by the vendor.
Examples of questions to ask to include how the data is sourced and maintained, what features are included in the database, how media contacts are segmented, and what level of customer support is provided for media monitoring.
By asking these questions, you can gain a better understanding of the media database provider’s offerings and make an informed decision about which journalist database provider to choose.