So you’ve got an announcement to rival the royal wedding, complete with a press release, images, spokesperson; the works. But still, knocking Harry and Meghan off the top spot won’t be easy.
Because even with all the right ingredients, a good story means nothing to the wrong people. A solid media list is just as key to making headlines, and here are our five steps to ensuring your news is landing in front of the journalists who can use it.
Before you even start thinking about populating your media list, it’s important to establish your audience. Only once you have your target industry and verticals nailed down can you start to familiarise yourself with the key influencers of each – but be realistic, just because a vertical is key to your business, doesn’t mean you should target those publications with every story you release.
So you’re happy with which sectors your news is going to hold appeal; now it’s time to pull together a list of the relevant publications that fall under each. If you have access to a media database, such as ResponseSource, Gorkana or Cision, a lot of this will be done for you, but you should still familiarise yourself with the nuances of each publication to ensure your news will be relevant to them.
That way you can also get a feel for the style of content for each publication, the ‘patches’ or areas of interest each journalist there covers, whether they have covered anything similar, as well as anything you might be able to ‘hook’ into when drafting your pitch.
When it comes to deciding whom from each publication your content is best suited to, another consideration is job title. There won’t be too many circumstances when it’s appropriate to contact the editor in chief, for example.
No one likes receiving a blanket email or irrelevant phone call; take the time to email each journalist individually wherever possible. And after going to the effort of researching the right contact, don’t lose your nerve and send to every email address you can find. Think about the long-term implications of each correspondence.
Once you’re happy with your media list, it doesn’t stop there. Make sure you’re constantly updating it with any changes to contacts and contact details, future opportunities discussed and, importantly, take note of anyone who wants to be removed. Use your media list as a tool for improving your media relations with every outreach.
Do you want to get in front of the press but don’t know where to start? Let us help you with your 2018 PR strategy. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org