How to Effectively Utilize Your Media Contact List

Whether you’ve used Cision or built your media contact list through numerous Google searches, it’s likely that hours of labor have gone into making your list of influencers and contacts robust. Now that you have a list, make sure your using it to its potential and exercising healthy outreach when you have news to be covered.

For introverts (or those of us not familiar with media communications), public relations may not come easily and obvious best practices are often disregarded. Here are three simple tips to help you optimize your media list outreach:

  • Reach Out On Social Media – With the rise of Twitter, everyone in society is a news reporter. Twitter gives users the ability to curate news and follow events as they develop in real time. In fact, news reporters have headed to Twitter to gather information for their stories. So chances are, if you have news to share, there is someone out there excited to hear it. If you have a list of potential influencers and media contacts, begin your outreach with a catchy tweet directed to the contact. If not, think of Twitter as a wire service on a much larger scale.
  • Build Your Relationships – It’s great to have a media contact list, but a list is simply a list if there are no relationships to support it. Don’t expect receive a response or have your news picked up by sending out a generic email to your extensive list. Make your contacts aware of you and the company you represent. Build professional relationships with your contacts prior to reaching out for news coverage. A brief phone call or one-off email is a great starting point!
  • Be Selective – No one enjoys receiving emails that don’t apply to them. Save your contacts time (and they’ll appreciate your consideration!) by putting the effort into bucketing your media contact list. By having buckets or categories, you’ll know to who to send what types of news. You’ll also display professionalism and increase the chance of coverage, since your press release will only be going to relevant contacts.

While these practices don’t necessarily apply if your pitching through a wire service like PR Buzz, they will help your news story gain more (and better) coverage and will also help YOU build your reputation among industry influencers and press contacts.