It’s spring at last, and we all know what that means: out with the old and in with the new. That’s even the case for your media contact list!
As a PR professional, you likely have a list (or many) of media contacts that focus on topics that are relevant to your organization. However, the media industry is the same as the rest; people move from one position to the next as new opportunities arise, and suddenly your media list is outdated with contacts that are no longer at your targeted publications.
With that in mind, spring is a great time to take a look at your media contact list and spend some time cleaning it up to save you valuable time all year. Here are a few tips to get started:
Tip #1: Organize Media Lists in a Collaborative Platform
Before organizing any contacts, it’s important to analyze the tools you currently use to compile your media contact list. One of the biggest organizational hacks you can make to your media contact list is moving it to a collaborative platform, like Google Sheets or Airtable.
These platforms offer the opportunity to collaboratively edit with your other team members in real time. No longer will you have to save your edits before someone else can make their own, hoping you save it before they open it.
Working within a constantly changing industry like the media, it’s vital to have the capabilities to collaborate with your team to ensure media lists are up-to-date but without information getting lost in the process.
TIP: Looking for even more ways to streamline your workflow? Check out our blog post “3 Tools for PR Project Management” for a few great ideas.
Tip #2: Invest in Media Management Tools
There are millions of people working in the media across the world, including TV, print, digital, and more. Keeping up with each media contact is an impossible task — but thankfully, there are plenty of media management tools out there to take care of the heavy lifting. With the help of a platform like Cision or Muck Rack, you can access up-to-date information on media contacts and their work by simply searching in the toolbar.
By searching names, publications, or tags, these tools pull potential publications and contacts that are relevant to the topics your organization can speak to. Each contact contains a variety of information including the publication(s) they work for, contact information, recent articles, and more. Your team can then analyze this information to determine if they are a fit for your brand.
In addition, these tools are a great resource if you are simply trying to maintain your media list throughout the year. Sending a quick pitch but not sure if your previous contact is still at your desired publication? You can do a quick search to confirm or find their replacement if needed.
Tip #3: Follow Media on Social Channels
While it may not be plausible for every media contact you work with, it’s a great idea to find the social media profiles of the contacts you work with most frequently and give them a follow. Many times media contacts will update their followers if they are promoted or change jobs, which allows you to make quick edits to your media contact list as you come across them.
Don’t forget to follow the social media profiles of the publications you’re pitching, too! Media outlets often celebrate new hires on their social media platforms, which gives your team the opportunity to assess if they could be a good fit and add them to your media contact list if necessary. This is an effective way to stay in-the-know on the status of many contacts, making the spring-cleaning process even more streamlined for you in the future.
Keeping your media lists updated is essential to ensure your pitches are being seen by the right people. Try out some of these simple tips and see if they make your pitching process more effective!
Searching for more media relations tips? Check out: