Notified Blog

How To Build a Targeted Media List (And Keep It Current)

In simple terms, a media list is a collection of contact information for media pros - such as journalists, bloggers and editors who cover specific topics or industries.

This list becomes especially important when it's time to send press releases, media advisories, pitches or any other type of communications.

For companies practicing public relations, having a current and robust media contact list is essential for storytelling success. And in this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to create a targeted media list and keep it updated.

How To Create a Media List

To create your list, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. You need to keep in mind the topic of your story and the target audience you aim to connect with.

Here are important steps to follow:

  1. Take time to research specific media outlets and journalists.

You can use free tools such as Google or Twitter (X) - or opt for paid subscriptions such as media databases.

Look for outlets and journalists that match your topic and audience.

  1. Generate a list of "key terms" relevant to your search.

Work smarter, not harder, to make the most of your media list.

Instead of just searching by outlet, journalist or industry, try searching by key phrases or terms. This can uncover niches and opportunities you might not have initially thought of.

Before you start searching, create a list of key terms or phrases. Note: Many media databases have a "talking about" filter that lets you input these terms and find relevant contacts.

You can also visit a media outlet's website and search for your key terms to see who has written about similar topics before.

Another option is to search by target location to discover new outlets, rather than focusing on a specific reporter.

  1. Enhance your media lists using AI technology.

By using a smarter media database, like the Connect module in the Notified PR Platform, you can achieve better results.

This module automatically identifies influential journalists in real time based on your media monitoring and social listening efforts. It surfaces contacts who are currently writing about your brand and industry.

Connect also serves as a powerful search engine that allows you to freely explore outlets and reporters based on your preferences.

No matter how specific your topic, you'll get a tailored list of recommended contacts.

  1. Ensure you find the right contact.

When creating your list, make sure you're getting accurate contact details. You can double-check this information on the media outlet's website or by calling the publication directly for assistance.

With Notified’s media database, each contact is human verified by our dedicated research team.

Most importantly, avoid sending your news to general email addresses. These are typically reserved for inquiries, not press releases.

  1. Obtain accurate details.

Here's what should be included for each contact in your list:

  • Name of the journalist/blogger/editor
  • Email address or phone number
  • Name of publication
  • Industry they cover

How To Keep Your Media List Current

To keep your media list current, treat it like a living document. Continuously add and remove contacts to ensure it stays up to date.

It's crucial that the information in your contact list is always accurate and regularly updated to reflect changes in the media landscape.

And with Notified’s media database, you don’t have to worry about any of this! We utilize a unique blend of human-curated research and artificial intelligence to ensure you stay current.

Distribution platforms often release news about media personnel changes. Additionally, connecting with your media contacts on LinkedIn is a good practice to stay informed about job changes.

Make Use of Bounce Back Emails

Although receiving bounce back emails can be frustrating, they can also provide valuable insights. Auto-response emails can reveal who's on vacation, who's covering for your contact, who has left the organization and who has replaced them.

However, if you haven't received any response from a contact despite multiple attempts to reach out, it might be time to explore other options and research alternative contacts.

Embrace Niche Markets

While pitching larger, more traditional media outlets can be beneficial, don't overlook smaller publications, bloggers and journalists with specialized interests!

Creating separate lists within your database for different types of pitches - or to present the same story in a unique way to niche contacts - can also be effective.

Knowing your contacts well is key here. For instance: You might have a reliable contact who typically covers business topics but also has a personal interest in fashion. This insight can be valuable depending on your outreach goals.

By organizing your media database into customized lists of reporters or influencers who focus on niche subjects, you increase your chances of securing coverage.

Cross-Check Competitor Coverage

While it may seem instinctive to distance yourself from competitors, monitoring their PR and marketing efforts can be beneficial for discovering new media contacts.

Although it can be disheartening to see your competition secure a great media placement, the upside is that you now have access to that media or influencer contact.

Take note of the editor or reporter involved in the story and locate their contact details using their outlet's website or social media profiles. Add them to your contact list with a mention of their coverage of your competitor.

You can then reference this coverage in the future when reaching out to them with your own pitch.

Thanks for reading – and best of luck creating your next media list!

Discover Our Verified Media Database

Want to learn even more? To see a verified media database for yourself, check out our interactive tour of the Notified PR Platform.

You can also request a demo to see how Notified can help make your media relations more efficient.

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