How to Create Media Lists on a Budget

emptypocketsThis is a very practical question that I get from time to time, and since I’ve heard it a few times, I figured I would post about it here on Mopwater.

People have asked me how they can create media lists without software, especially if they are only looking for a few select reporters. Here are the specific questions I’ve received and the answers I’ve given.

Q: Hello. I am working with a nonprofit that helps women become aware of the health issues HPV and cervical cancer. Looking for health reporters to pitch. Any ideas?

A: If your nonprofit doesn’t use Vocus, Cision, or MyMediaInfo, try a Google News Search on “HPV” and “Cervical Cancer” to give you stories that have been written in the past and the reporters who wrote them. Then pitch the reporters that are closest to your target.

Also, MyMediaInfo will give you a free 10 search trial which you could use to do a search for health reporters.

Q: I offered to help out some friends with their PR efforts, but we don’t have access to databases like Cision, Vocus, etc. Do you have any suggestions for creating media lists on a budget with social media? I’m looking to create a list of local DC media contacts. Any suggestion you have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

A: If you aren’t looking for a specific term but for local coverage on an industry, say, for example you’re looking for reporters who may cover Safeway Grocery Stores because that’s your client, I would suggest you do a Google news search for local stories written about your client’s direct competitors: i.e. Giant, Whole Foods, Yes market, etc. and manually record the names of reporters who have written stories in the last 18 mos on that beat. For contact information, use the internet to find the reporters on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call their outlet and ask for them by name to get their contact information. Create your media list in an excel sheet or Google document that can be easily updated.

And also see the Media On Twitter database.

There is nothing easy about this method. It’s old school and time consuming. That’s why the software is so valuable. However you can also share licenses with users if you are a solo PR practitioner and that can help to cut down on the cost.

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