One of the super-tools of a successful public relations strategy is an effective media list and database which documents the key public relation contacts that will create an impact to your story.

Another purpose is to pitch to them your story ideas and news alerts for your company or client.

It is important to be highly organized to make your list a great list that is customized per your story idea and the ever changing landscape of journalism.

They may include: professional journalists, reporters, bloggers and influencers, writers and editors across a large spectrum such as print, online, blogs, news sites, radio, and television.



Learn the difference between the Master Media List, Reviewers, and Trade Show List. The Master list is your foundation list while Reviewer’s lists are for the intention of consumers seeking product reviews. Trade shows are for relationship building.



The first thing you need to do is dig deeper into your customer base. And ask why they are with you? Look for a common denominator, which brings the business. Once you have defined your audience: check blogs, social media platforms, websites, trending shows and programs.

For example:

  • For teen fashion market, check teen fashion bloggers and influencers
  • For stay at home moms, women’s magazines and mummy bloggers
  • For fitness, check Instagram and YouTube Channels

Do not restrict yourself to journalists; do check for social media influencers and bloggers as they through the years have built a cult of followers where you can target your content that is specific to your interest or niche.

Engage in Twitter; do run some search with your keywords. You will definitely find someone to follow in your niche. Create a Twitter List by your category; people like to be added in a list as it is flattering.

Do use a blog aggregator to discover real time trends from blogs and magazines. Find your conversations in LinkedIn groups. They are one source where every kind of business leads can be found.


Understanding all of this will give your story a best chance of landing to media outlets.

  • Topics they cover
  • Medium
  • Readership
  • Audience size
  • Frequency of publication
  • Understand their editorial calendar

When building a compelling media list, one will need to find the right journalists that has some sort of specialty in your topic. Let’s say if your media pitch is about fitness and sports, you will need to find a journalist who covers that section.

When checking the article, note the job title as often the case their expertise will be reflected together with the job title. Avoid contacting several people in the same organization; it will look like you are spamming them.

You can start with your current network. Do a Google search and use common keyword queries, and check your results; then, go for move advance search where you can streamline your specific areas.

Online database are also a good source for media professionals. The advantage of picking an online database service is that you are able to target your research and customized the list by your criteria. Check for databases that will connect you with the most in-depth influencer intelligence so this will help you identify the right people for your message to warrant the success of your story.

OTHER TOOLS TO UITLIZE: Cision, Agility PR Solutions, and Meltwater


Create an excel document, separated by name of organization, and followed by their contact information. Then, you go further by segmenting the list as per levels, categories, and subcategories which will help you section smaller groups of journalists that carry a specialized niche. This is easier to target a specific campaign when your list is segmented.

Include the following information:

  • Main publication
  • Main link
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Subject of expertise
  • Contact location
  • Extra column for notes

There are free online database creators you may use to help ease the headache of organizing your media list.   No need to hire a programmer and most of all it is free to use.

Here is one you can use to keep track of the people you need to follow to help cover your subject area or specialty. HARO (HELP A REPORTER) provides a service for journalists with a database of every source for every story.

You can always go local community for hometown magazines, blogs, newsletters…here you can even find what is big and trending.

Introduce yourself before you make the big pitch. Follow them, engage, and show them that you respect their work. Follow their news, use a news aggregator. Twitter is the best way but you can use Feedly, Flipboard to RSS feed their articles.

It is best practice that you constantly update your list as people in general constantly change their roles with a different area of expertise. This is an ongoing project that needs some refreshing. Keep it happen to check it on a weekly basis, any changes goes directly to your medialist.

Make sure you sign-up to your Industry email list and set-up Google Alerts sent to your email. Here is another platform you can use called Mentions. Here you can monitor any content, you get real time up notifications and market insights.

In order to create an effective media public relations list we all need to build strong relationships with contacts, do our homework religiously and by targeting the stories that journalists, bloggers and influencers want to share and hear. If use diligently, your media list will open doors for you and your organization.

Written by : Nikki Woods

I teach entrepreneurs and influencers how to grow their business to 6 figures+ by leveraging the media and monetizing their expertise.

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