DIY PR tips: 5 tips on building your media contacts list

So the new year is in full swing and your ready to share your new products, services and intitiatives with the media. So how do you go about it. Well to get in touch with the media to place and pitch your story ideas you need a way of contacting journalists. PR agencies and professionals pay thousands of pounds a month to access databases that contain thousands of contact details of journalists across the UK and internationally as it is a key part of service delivery.

Entrepreneurs and SMEs

For entrepreneurs and small business owners who are on a tight budget there is a way around this, and that is to create your own media lists.  Just like in your day to day business you have dealing with suppliers and customers/clients, you need to have a way of keeping note of their contact details, job title etc. You need to do the same for the media you speak and contact.

If you haven’t yet had any contact with journalists or bloggers, here’s are some tips:

  1. Research media that cover your area of work
  2. Look for stories that feature your competitors and add them to your list
  3. Include local and national newspapers that cover your area of work
  4. Don’t forget bloggers – create a separate list for bloggers
  5. Also remember broadcast – so digital radio stations and popular podcasts in your area of work

Use spreadsheets

You should start to collate and build your list in something like an Excel Spreadsheet or similar so you can keep track when you do make contact. You may find that the x reporter is interested in your story but works on the Sunday edition so has suggested you contact another reporter than covers similar stories during the week. This is the start of your list building. It’s common to find one person covers more than one magazine or topic or day of the week. You just need to make note of this on your list and keep a note of when you spoke with them, about what campaign and what the outcome is.

Don’t give up – Keep going

Once you start you can keep building the list, you may find out about a new publication or have been doing more research and found a ton more. As you find them keep adding them on. It’s that simple.

Eventually you’ll be able to group them into categories, broadcast media, print, online and soon enough you’ll have your own database of media contacts. If you’re in a niche market the number of publications maybe small, but that’s fine, work within your means so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

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