Connect With Those Who Matter: How to Build a Media List
The first step in constructing the perfect pitch is generating a list of media outlets you want to share your products or services with. Sure, you can send your pitch to every contact you have and hope some will bite, but let’s be honest – that’s not the best method and can even be considered spam. In addition, sending irrelevant pitches can ruin your future relationships with journalists. Creating a list that is meaningful to your offering is the most tedious part of crafting a winning pitch, but the time and effort you put in to your list now will be rewarded in the end. Here are five pieces of advice to consider when you build your next media list.
- Define Your Angle. What is your pitch angle? Answering this question will go a long way in determining who you should send your pitch to. A food writer and a reporter on parenting advice have drastically different needs. A well-defined angle will help you understand the audience you are trying to reach, allowing you to narrow down the best contacts who cater to the viewers you want to see your offering.
- Know their Editorial Timing.If you want to share your holiday specials, you shouldn’t pitch to magazines the month before since they have a longer lead time, working approximately six months ahead of time. On the other side of the editorial spectrum, you don’t want to send a blogger your holiday specials six months in advance since they generally run 1-2 months ahead.
- Be Selective.Take the time to go through your contacts. Just because they are in your address book doesn’t mean they should get your next pitch. Do your research on the contact to determine what their role is and if they write about products or services similar to what you have to offer.
- Check Your Resources. There are some great online resources to help reach reporters, especially those who are looking for specific topics to cover. Two free websites areHelp a Reporter Out (HARO)and Pitchrate. You can research specific categories to see what reporters are looking to cover, taking some of the guesswork out of your contact building process.
- Ask For Feedback.Don’t be afraid to ask someone to look over your list. Getting a fresh set of eyes to look over it can help you further weed out contacts that do not fit your angle and they can advise you on ones they haven’t had great interactions with. Plus, they may be able to offer suggestions for connections to add to your list that you may not have considered.
The more detailed and specific you can get your list, the higher the chance of getting your product or service the media attention you want. Sending your pitch to a handful of well selected connections is better than sending it to 100 random ill-fitting ones. Don’t rush the process and you will be rewarded in the form of editorial media coverage. Happy pitching!
Written by Erika Taylor Montgomery
Tags: media list