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8 Best Free Resources for Building a Media Contact List

By February 13, 2012March 9th, 2023,

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Public Relations” blog series.

I wrote last week about the importance of building a media contact list. With a little legwork, you can find many outlets for free on the internet.

Identify the outlets you want to target for your media list

Start by identifying the outlets you want to target. Once you have a list of target outlets, visit the website for each outlet to research it thoroughly. Each media organization provides different levels of media information you can use to fine-tune your lists.

Here are some free resources to learn about outlets that cover your industry or news in your part of the world.

The Internet Public Library

The Internet Public Library includes a list of popular magazines and newspapers organized by their respective subject area or geographic focus. Each individual listing includes a brief description of the outlet’s coverage area, along with a link to their website. Another similar source is the Yahoo! News and Media directory. You might also checkout’s journalist directory by publication.

LinkedIn Search

LinkedIn is a great resource for finding professional journalists. Use LinkedIn’s advanced people search so you can dive deeper into user data to find contacts that fit your criteria. You can also save searches, so you can be alerted to new contacts that join LinkedIn that match your criteria.


PRSourceCode provides a variety of paid PR services for agencies and professionals working in technology-related sectors. While the company provides paid services, it has a free listing of business and technology publications on its website, linked to the sites. This is an excellent place to start if you’re building a tech-focused media list.


Alltop is an alternative to setting up RSS feeds for all your favorite blogs on a subject. Alltop has a team of keen-eyed experts that work to aggregate “All” the “Top” blogs on a particular subject. Read the “PR” and “Journalism” categories on Alltop to keep up with current trends and developments relevant to the subjects you write about. With a few mouse clicks, Alltop will show you any number of the “top” outlets you’ll want to consider for your media list.



Technorati is a blog search engine. You can use it to search for blog posts on any subject. The company also manages a list of the Top 100 Blogs, which is a great place to find the world’s most popular blogs on subjects you’re interested in. You can also explore Technorati by many different categories to find relevant blogs. Some of the more popular categories include Technology, Business, Entertainment, IT and Finance.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

HARO (now owned by Vocus) is a free service that connects journalists with expert sources. Each email (there are three a day) includes reporter queries that you can respond to (provided you have a relevant pitch or expert to offer up). But what if you’re not a fit for the opportunity, but are for the outlet? Keep track of journalists and bloggers that regularly write about topics related to your subject areas – then research those outlets and contacts to add to your media list. What better way to learn what a journalist is interested in than to see the types of experts they regularly reach out to through HARO!


TradePub works with business and trade magazine publishers to market free subscriptions to qualified professionals. This is your one-stop-shop for subscribing to a wide-range of free business and trade publications of interest to you. It’s also a great place to find outlets you’ll want to add to your media list.

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Public Relations” blog series.

Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.