You can’t run an effective marketing campaign without a well-targeted media list.
A list of targeted contacts to whom you wanted to send a press release.
A good media list covers newspaper, TV, radio, magazines (mainstream and trade) and online media such as blogs.
By using a media list, you have a much greater chance of your press release being read by the right people at the right outlets and thus seeing the light of day.
Back in my PR days (1991-1993), compiling a media list was pretty tedious process but today it’s a much less laborious task. Using the tools outlined below, you’ll not only get up-to-date contacts at your targeted media outlets, but you’ll also get editorial calendars so you can plan to hit these contacts with information at precisely the right time as well as other resources where you can voice your pitch.
One warning: most of these resources come at a price (though I have included some free options) and typically, the more expensive, the better the resource and the less “busy-work” needed on your end. Given that, wherever possible, I have focused on the media-list-only offerings which does save you a significant amount over some of these vendor’s full packages.
On to the resources!
More Than Just Media Lists
The media list offerings from these vendors give you features beyond just media lists.
Cision is the company that used to be Bacon’s, one of the premier media list sources around. They have a very robust offering overall, but they do offer a standalone version of their Media Database. That standalone version is, in my opinion, the top of the pack in terms of contacts and functionality. In addition to a huge list of media contacts (including bloggers) from all over the world, you also get editorial calendars and an integrated contact relationship management (CRM) system for tracking who you talked to and when and about what.
BurrellesLuce is another premier media list source. They also offer a very robust set of products, but their Media Contacts product is the one to aim for if you want to not only create targeted media lists, but also distribute them from within their tool (something that is typically extra at other vendors). They offer editorial calendars and other media opportunities as well as the previous 45 days of media that each contact has produced so you can see if you are targeting correctly.
Media Contacts Pro offers both one-time media list downloads as well as ongoing media list database subscriptions. They also have a contact relationship management (CRM) system as well as unlimited press release distribution to your lists.
My Media Info offers both a robust list of media contacts as well as editorial calendars. You can buy each separately, and they do mention scaling the price up or down based on need (i.e. likely based on how many markets you want, etc.).
Pay-As-You-Go Media Lists
These are great if you just need a media list every now and then and want to pay less than the subscription options above.
Based on a number of criteria (beat, geographic location, etc.), this service will build you a list and charge you by the contact. This is a great way to use Cision’s huge media contacts database without paying the annual fee.
Another “pay-as-you-go” option, Bulldog claims that their smaller database is more targeted for your needs. Their service includes online storage of your media lists and “pitching tips” for each media contact. They also offer press release distribution for a cost.
If you are looking for opportunities to make a pitch, these are good spots to start.
I use this service to look for opportunities every day. Essentially, reporters send HARO their needs for experts, contact, interviewees and then HARO e-mails them out to their huge mailing list. I get an e-mail three times a day and there is typically one opportunity for me to reply to daily. Best part – it’s FREE!
Gift Lists Media bills themselves as the ultimate resource for gift-giving editorial calendars. Get your product or service in front of reporters looking for material and in turn get your product or service in front of buyers.
Free Ways to Build Your Media Lists
As I mentioned above, there are some free ways to build your media lists, but they do take you back to those ancient days when you needed to do all the work 🙂
If you want to find bloggers who cover your beat, the services below will help you along. They all allow searching so you can target your list.
Below are a couple of free searchable databases of media outlets.