Media releases are a tried and tested PR tactic used to get stories in the media and is one of the most common ways to communicate with a journalist or publication.
A common mistake is to send out a blanket email with your media release to hundreds of journalists in the hopes you will receive coverage. Journalists receive hundreds of media releases a day and if it’s not in their area of interest, chances are they won’t read it.
Media lists are designed to help pinpoint your key media contacts in your industry who would be interested in your media releases and story angles. By creating and producing a targeted media list you are able to increase your chances of obtaining media coverage.
Here are reasons why a targeted media list is beneficial to you.
1. Communicate directly to your audience
Before emailing journalists, you need to decide who your target audience is and how best to reach them. Start by researching what your target audience is interested in and the type of media they consume, including blogs, websites, TV programs, newspapers and magazines.
By determining how your target audience consumes information, you can target specific media outlets to increase the chances of your media release or story angle being published and seen by your audience.
2. Get the attention of journalists
Conducting research is essential to help determine what media outlet and journalist to target when sending your media release, as this helps increase the chances your email will not only be read but also acted on.
Take note of the frequency the media outlets publish or produce new content. Understanding the editorial calendar and the deadlines of the media you’re targeting will give your story the best chance of landing.
3. Establish relationships
Targeted pitching is a great way to not only understand what media outlets your audience engages with, but is also an opportunity to build relationships with journalists.
By understanding the journalist’s objective, you are able to provide targeted and relevant content. If you provide consistent and relevant content to a journalist on a regular basis, chances are you will create a mutually beneficial relationship.
4. Save time
When it comes time to pitch a media release or story angle, if you have a media list already prepared you are able to easily send your news or pitch to the journalists that matter to you.
To ensure you are saving time when pitching, create and categorise your media list in a spread sheet. This will enable you to search for media outlet and journalist details easily, including the name of the media outlet, contact person, job title, email address and phone number.
Media lists are an effective way to increase your opportunities for media coverage and build relationships with journalists. Even though we often spend the most time on developing the media release or story angle, if it is not sent to the correct journalists, then it’s not likely to be successful.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au