Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Compiling a Media List

The other day I was asked to compile a media list.  I figured it wouldn't be a problem and I would just be able to find all the contacts online, put the list together, and impress my boss with my abilities.

(I was wrong).

I spent several hours searching around various media outlet websites for names and emails of someone, ANYONE that I could pitch a story to.  In case you hadn't guessed, media outlets aren't always so eager to just put that type of contact information out there.  So after I gathered together a few emails that I thought would be helpful I sent them over to my boss.

They weren't helpful at all.

So, I learned a new lesson I figured I would share with my fellow aspiring PR professionals:

Don't ever assume something is going to be easy. Assume that your skills are going to be challenged with every assignment you get.  Sometimes it might not be the case, but at least you'll be prepared!

After this experience, I have some tips for compiling a media list:

1. Call the newsroom.  A lot of people have hesitancies towards making phone calls.  The beauty of calling a newsroom is that they are usually on some kind of deadline and only have a moment, if any, to talk in the first place.  Your phone call isn't going to last more than two minutes.

2. You're looking for producers, editors, and the news desk. Go directly to the people who are going to be making the decision about your story.

3. Ask for help! If you're uncomfortable or unsure, just ask someone to help you.  My boss assured me that when she was an intern she felt the exact same way.  Now she's a pitching pro and isn't that we are all striving for?

Do you have any tips for media lists and pitching?  Share them with us!

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