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Jen Williams

Six Leading Resources for Building a List of Media Contacts

12th Jul 2017 Digital PR Blog 2 minutes to read

Six Leading Resources for Building a List of Media Contacts

One of the most important functions that any press office carries out is media relations and networking. That usually means creating a press list or buying access to a commercial PR media database, such as Cision, Gorkana or Vuelio.

Let’s take a look in closer detail.

What Are Media Contact Lists?

A PR database or press list should provide contact details of the following:

  • Relevant publications
  • Trade journals
  • Journalists/freelancers
  • News websites
  • Magazines
  • Other resources within your target industry

Commercial media list templates allow PR professionals enable to drill down to targeted publications and contacts that exist within a relevant industry, outlet or location. Results can also be refined by other desired filters to get to the most targeted media distribution list. This approach ensures that the relevant journalists are targeted, increasing the chance of securing coverage within that specific publication.

Buying in a Media List or Database

Most businesses will create their own press lists based on personal relationships within and across the business, for example where internal leaders have existing business relationships with media contacts that require a more personal approach. However, the majority of media targeting will be done with a PR media list, such as the Cision or Gorkana database.

Premium Media Contact Databases

Media lists are available on a paid-for licence basis from professional providers such as Cision, PR Max and Agility PR Solutions. These solutions are kept up to date for accuracy, are international in scope and come with a variety of tools that enable users to find the right print, online and broadcast media contacts for message sharing. In addition to providing media contact details, the databases include information about forward features, with dates and deadlines, individual journalist data for press release distribution and media monitoring services, social media monitoring and detailed search criteria for clippings.

Taking on a digital PR agency will mean that the overheads of lots of these tools are absorbed in your retainer, so you can enjoy the benefits of the tools without the big price tag. Add to that the expertise of PR specialists to action your PR and communications strategy, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!

Alternative Means of Accessing a Media Database

Not all businesses can afford to license the use of a PR media list, plus commercial solutions may not even be suitable for smaller businesses working in niche or local geographic markets. However, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. These include:

  • LinkedIn
  • The Internet Public Library (https://www.ipl.org/)
  • Muck Rack (https://muckrack.com/)
  • Alltop (https://www.alltop.com/)
  • Twitter #JournoRequest

These sources are free to use. While they may require more work to locate media contact information, they are authoritative, and they can be highly effective. For smaller businesses in particular, the extra legwork required to create a targeted media contact list – especially for niche or local information – may well be perfectly justifiable when weighed up against the cost of a media monitoring and database subscription.

There is a hugely powerful array of digital resources available that can give PR professionals easier access to the media contacts they need, increasing the likelihood of securing all-important media coverage!


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Jen Williams

Jen is our token shorty. She’s a sucker for an old movie but she’s young at heart, so young in fact she got asked for ID when buying crimping scissors. She’s a table tennis fanatic and even used to play for her county. Trust us, we didn’t realise there were table tennis leagues either but now we want to set one up over our desks to test how good she is.

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