How to
Build a Media List

So, you’ve got some important company news to announce. You took the time to produce a press release that’s well written, informative and professional looking. Now what? Who do you send it to? Below are some tips on how to build your own media list so your release is distributed to the correct person at the appropriate media outlets. Note: this article just concentrates on local media.

1) Research the media outlets in your area

  • Make a list by category:
    • Newspapers, magazines, business journals, websites, blogs, TV, radio, podcasts
  • Note what topic each covers – some cover everything, some you won’t need to include if they don’t pertain to your business.
  • Don’t forget about media in feeder markets too (cities within X miles of your company).

2) Create an organized database

  • Compile the mailing address, phone number and website URL of each outlet.
  • List the name and email address of the best person to contact at each one (see below).
  • Make note of the frequency each outlet produces content (i.e., a daily, weekly or monthly newspaper; monthly or quarterly magazine; times of applicable radio or TV programs).

3) How to find the right contact person

  • Search for articles or stories about your industry (or competitors) on each outlet’s website and see if there is a journalist or two who writes most of them.
  • You can also find the page on each website that lists the editorial staff; sometimes it will include a beat or field that the person specializes in.
  • If you aren’t finding what you need, simply call and ask who the appropriate person is.
  • Below are some notes on particular types of media:

Daily newspapers

  • Since these have larger staffs, it’s important to approach the correct person; someone who writes about education won’t care about a release pertaining to real estate or your bakery’s grand opening.
  • If you’re still having trouble finding a relevant writer, go to the editor in charge of the section you want to be in (business, food, travel, sports, etc.).

Community newspapers

  • These will be printed weekly or monthly.
  • They’ll have smaller staffs with just a few editors and writers, so it’s OK to go straight to an editor.

Radio and TV

  • Radio: You could send your release to a particular radio personality, but you’ll likely have more luck with the producer of that show.
  • TV: Same goes for TV, contact the producer of the show or newscast. You can also send to the station’s assignment desk.

4) Important guidelines

  • When emailing your press release, attach a company logo and/or photo. Make sure the images are hi-res (at least 300 dpi), but not so large that you’re sending an email that’s more than 2-3 MB.
  • If you don’t get a response from a media contact, it’s OK to follow up a few days later with a call or email. But don’t cross the line from being persistent to annoying.
  • Be professional, kind and considerate. If the reporter emails you or leaves a voicemail, get back to him/her immediately. This is hopefully the beginning of a long-term working relationship with the reporter, so you need to demonstrate right away that you’re a reliable and credible source of information.

If you need help with your next press release, give us a call. We’re a full-service ad agency with a proven track record of delivering results to local and national businesses of all sizes. We offer a full range of public relations services designed to maximize media coverage reaching your target audiences.

If you need assistance with preparing promotional materials, booth graphics, PR, ads and marketing strategies, we’re here to help.

Contact Peter Frantz at 440-247-4548 or, or complete the form here.