Media lists contain the names and information about people and companies that can help you build your company.
This is the kind of information that used to be in your Rolodex, or your business card file, or your address book.
Consultants and agencies often charge thousands of dollars to put together a media list for you, since there could be hundreds of editors and their magazines to research and target.
Start compiling your media list by gathering the names of anyone or any company that might help you promote your company. Collect as many names as possible — you can’t have too many!
Build your media list in 20 minutes a week
If you have the time and want to build your own media list, take 30 minutes a week and do some research.
- What do YOU read? List your favorite papers, magazines, websites and even TV and radio shows that may be interested in featuring your company.
- What do your customers read? If you can find just one website they are reading, chances are that website will have sponsors, partners or a resources page where you can find other media that your customers may be browsing. And so on, and so on.
- Who accepts submissions for new products? Most likely it will be a new products editor, news editor or in smaller publications, the editor-in-chief.
- Read the magazine and note if there is a columnist or reporter that is most likely to cover you for a feature story or interview.
- What business cards did you receive this week from people who could help you growth the buzz about your business?
I can bet that you have your favorite set of writers you follow and often think, my product or service would be perfect for them…if only they knew about it!
If you do this every week, by the end of the year you will have built up 52 solid contacts that may be writing about your company.
Keep your media list in a spreadsheet
We keep all our media contacts in a spreadsheet, but use whatever works for you. We keep the following information about each contact:
- Priority (A/B/C)
- Type (Print/Online/Both)
- Publication or website
- Contact Name
- Contact Title
- Interests (what is this contact particularly interested in?)
- Source (where did you get this name?)
- Notes (comment on how you met, mutual friends, anything else you want to remember)
We use spreadsheets because it’s easy to sort the data in any way we wish.
Keep updating your media list
Update your media list ongoingly, and keep it current. You might want to set time aside once every quarter to completely review the list, removing old contacts that have moved to new positions, and making sure the list is organized.
Now when it’s time to publish a press release about your company, you’ll know just who to contact!