The public relations industry is an ever-changing field that requires PR professionals to persistently stay up with the latest trends. In a profession that continuously changes with the times, it’s important to regularly update foundational tools. One essential tool to PR success is a media list.
Accurate and up-to-date media lists are the foundation for the strongest and most flexible PR strategy. A document listing journalists, reporters, media influencers, bloggers and other media contacts, media lists help guide research, define the target audience and create long-lasting relationships with reporters and relevant media contacts.
1. Media Lists Help Define Your Target Audience
When assembling a media list, it’s essential to retrieve relevant contacts who cover topics related to the story you’re trying to tell. Well-built media lists can help brands define who the audience is and which media outlets they engage with most frequently. To help narrow this down, you must determine whether the right outlets to effectively tell your story are local newspapers, national news outlets, magazines, radio, TV, trade publications, blogs or some combination thereof. With the goal of being featured in outlets that your target audience frequently interacts with, the ability to understand your target audience helps you to pinpoint effective media and dictates the outlets and contacts you reach out to when you’ve developed an angle for your pitch.
2. Media Lists are the Framework for Your PR Strategy
A good media list includes relevant contacts with an accurate understanding of shared interests and up-to-date information for connection. Public relations is an industry that is constantly evolving, and media contact lists must evolve just as quickly. Reporters commonly move to different news outlets and change the beats they cover. A restructure in pitch messaging begs for a reorganized media list tailored to better fit specific pitching needs.
To ensure your media list is accurate, including reactive links can be helpful. Reactive media links help inform PR professionals about the various topics reporters are currently writing or interested in. These links also follow trending news within the topic, which is particularly helpful to provide PR professionals additional context and can contribute to successfully landing a pitch since the relevant angle closely aligns with previous articles.
3. Media Lists Generate Mutually Beneficial Relationships
When executed successfully, media relations build a symbiotic relationship between PR professionals and reporters. Most times, it’s more convenient to look at a reporter contact from a one-sided perspective, but creating a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with media contacts requires PR pros to invest time in learning about the reporter’s needs and how to be useful to them. Using your media list to follow and keep up with their latest published articles and the beats they cover can help inform the angle of your pitch so that you pique their interest and — hopefully — secure coverage when you have news to share.
Ultimately, you want to ask yourself, “how can I be of help?” If you’re able to deliver valuable, relevant information a reporter can use in their story, they’ll remember you and will be more inclined to accept pitches from you or even reach out to you specifically because you were so helpful before. It’s a win-win: You provide a media contact with a relevant and helpful source while earning your client coverage in a relevant media outlet.
Media Lists: A Critical PR Tool at Comprise
Media lists are the foundation of successful PR strategies, so it’s imperative to be thoughtful and detailed about who you will be pitching on behalf of your client. The most successful media lists are regularly updated and maintained to empower organizations like yours to understand your target audience and form mutually beneficial relationships with media contacts by providing relevant, helpful content.
If you need help building a media list that helps you effectively connect with the media to tell you story to the audiences that matter to move your business forward, let us know how we can help! Our PR team has collectively built thousands of media lists for clients across industries resulting in top-tier coverage and incredible campaigns that moved our clients’ businesses forward.