Building a Good Media List

By: shannon3113
You've written a great press release and it's ready to go. But the bigger question remains: who do I send it to?

Before you begin sending the release to anyone and everyone, take heed. By not targeting the release to the right person at the right media outlet, your release will simply go into the trash and you'll never gain the respect of any reporter.

So look long and hard at your perfect release. Who would be truly interested in it? Let's face it, Oprah probably doesn't care you have developed additions to your product line.

Look for publications and media that match your target market, not where you'd like to appear.

Where to find media listings? Once you determine who you want to send the release to generally, you need to get all the information on the media. You can use the following to find who your looking for:

1) Surf the 'Net. Several databases are available for a fee. But you may find they are out of your budget. In addition, there are several free listings of media on the Internet. These are great for a start, but often leave out important contact information and may never be updated.

2) Use the library. Most libraries have resource directories that list local and national media. Take a few hours and write down all the information you need. You'll need to remember, however, that since these directories are in print, many of the listings may be out of date.

3) Use what you already have. A savvy person is already monitoring what's going on in their target market's media, often to subscribing to publications and using RSS feeds & news alerts on the Internet. (Check out Google's News Alerts to create your own). Every time you find a story that is related to your topic, write down the name of the reporter and contact information.

Don't forget you need to verify the information. Editors and the like often change roles or switch companies, so regardless how recent you feel the information is that you have, you need to call to verify it. Gatekeepers (the receptionists) can often be protective with contact names and employee information and very seldom just give this information away. Asking them to verify what you have can prove to be more productive.
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