A media list is a helpful tool when attempting to spread the word about your business or brand. Read on to learn how to build a media list that will get you the connections you need to bring your story to your target audience.
What Is A Media List?
Before building a media list, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’re getting in to and what it’s purpose is. A media list is simply a list compiled of journalists, writers and news reporters who are in your specific niche.
Media lists are helpful because they can streamline the process of you selling your story to media outlets. If you have a list with relevant contacts, you won’t be searching all throughout the internet for journalists to pitch your story to.
PR Agencies and Media Lists
Using a public relations agency to share your story with the media is a great way to get your name out there. This is because public relations agencies have access to expensive software that essentially creates targeted media lists for them. If you’re a chef who wants to spread the news about the launch of your new cookbook, publicists will have a lists of food reporters and writers who will want to know about that. If you’re in the music industry, publicists will be able to access their software to find reporters who report on pop culture and music-related news. Publicists are basically the middle men that do all of the hard work of finding reporters who would be interested in your story for you.
How To Build Your Own Media List
However, as convenient as public relations agencies are, they can be pricey for those just starting out in their business or brand. It is entirely possible to build your own media list if you’d like to save a little money. Just be sure that you don’t mind partaking in the extra step of looking for relevant journalists on your own! Read on to learn how to build your own media list.
Step One: Find Sources Relevant To Your Niche
You’ll want to start off finding media outlets that are in your niche or market. As much as everybody wants to say they were able to get on the cover of Forbes magazine, Forbes has a specific audience. If your target audience doesn’t tend to read Forbes, then you won’t gain any sales or new clients! As amazing as it would be to say that you made the cover of a popular magazine, it’s more important to find media outlets that typically read by your target audience. Sure, more targeted, specific media outlets might have a smaller demographic, but that audience is probably more interested in what you have to offer. Thus, this will lead to higher sales for your business.
Step Two: Find A Specific Story
Once you have researched media outlets that you believe would fit in with your niche or market, it’s time to look at specific articles. Search through their website for articles that you believe are similar to an article that could be written about your brand. You’ll want to look for these because you’ll want to see who has written those articles. If they’ve written articles on businesses that are similar to yours, they’ll most likely want to interview you.
Step Three: Gather Contact Information
Once you find those articles, grab the names of the journalists who wrote them. The step is usually streamlined these days as articles will typically include the contact information of that journalist somewhere else on the webpage. Gather whatever contact information you can: social medias, phone numbers, emails, etc.
Step Four: Create Your Media List
It’s now time to create your media list. Using all of the information you gathered in step three, compile that into a spreadsheet and input as much information as you can into that spreadsheet. Information that would be helpful to include in the spreadsheet are listed below:
- Full name
- Publication article was featured in
- Topic of article
- Contact information
Create A Custom Pitch
Once you have built your media list, the next important step is making sure that when pitching to the contacts found in your media list, you are customizing each pitch accordingly. Whoever you are pitching to will appreciate that you took the time out to contact them directly and that you did not just send them a mass, generic pitch. In your pitch, include why you would be a good fit for their publication. Also include what is interesting or unique about your story and why this journalist should cover you.
There is always the possibility that your pitch will get rejected. In that case, it is always helpful to gain feedback on why your pitch was not received well. Asking the journalist what you could have done to better present your pitch. Asking why aren’t looking for your particular story right now is a way to gain critical insight on how to better adjust your pitches for future publications.
Reaching Out To Top Media Outlets
Gaining feedback is an important part of the pitching process. You can use this feedback to make your pitches more effective. A great technique to gain feedback is to create your “Dream 100” list. Create a list of the top 100 media outlets that you’d like your story to be featured in. They can be as big as Forbes or Entrepreneur; it doesn’t really matter. The point is that you are going to contact reporters and journalists from these media outlets. Ask these journalists what they look for in a pitch or story. Then, ask them to critique your pitch.
Your goal here isn’t to get them to actually post your story. Instead, your goal is gain knowledge and an understanding from them. By doing this, you are creating relationships with journalists who have connections to large media outlets. This is valuable in that they may reach out to you to write a story on you in the future.
Give Value Back
Once you have built your media list and contacted the reporters on it, you can offer them a service in return. Make sure this service brings value to them. This helps strengthen your relationship with journalists while also making your pitch more desirable to journalists. Your offer can be anything from offering them a free product or service from your business to offering to promote their written article for your on your social media channels. Get creative with it!
Building a media list is an important step in pitching your story to media outlets. A media list keeps you organized and helps you promote your business or brand more efficiently. Watch our latest YouTube video learn more about building a media list!