Volume 4, No. 2
August 4, 2008
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Creating Media Lists Made Easy
Before we had the World Wide Web, poring through bulky media directories to create a media list used to be standard practice for PR pros. Today, there is hardly a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV station in the U.S. that doesn't have a web site. While media directories -- available now in digital formats -- are still a common tool of the PR trade, their subscription rates tend to be too expensive for small organizations and one-person marketing departments.
Free On-line Sources for Finding Media Web Sites
NewsVoyager.com, by the Newspaper Association of America, has links to nearly every daily and weekly newspaper in the U.S. It's easy to navigate and searchable by State, City or the newspaper's name. Newsdirectory.com is also easy to use and has links to English language newspapers, magazines and TV stations. You can find the radio stations in your region, and links to their web sites, at Radio-locator.com.
Send Your News Release or Pitch to the Right Person
You need more than location and general contact information on your media list. You should identify who in a given news organization is the best person to receive your pitch or news release. This takes research.
Some newspapers provide contact information on their web sites for their news staffs, identifying which beats are covered by whom. Other newspapers and media organizations just provide one general contact for the newsroom. You can call this number, often answered by an editorial or news assistant, and ask who is the best person to send information about your industry or issue. However, I suggest first reviewing a media outlet's web site to see if you can get a sense of who is covering your area of interest. Read, watch or listen to several stories developed by the reporter who appears to cover your area. Reporters don't like to be contacted by someone who isn't aware of what they do.