How to Create a Media List
A media list is also known as a pitch list or a PR list.
Basically, it’s a collection of information that tells you everything you need to know to pitch the media to land coverage.
For example, the media list you get from Podcast Clout tells you:
- The podcast category
- The podcast show name
- About the podcast
- The podcast host’s name
- About the podcast host
- The website of the podcast
- The podcast host email
- The best way to pitch the podcast host
- The podcast host location
The media list acts as the main thing you have to work from so you’re not sitting at your laptop with 20 tabs open to do all of the research.
This is an example of part of a media list you can export from Podcast Clout.
How to Create a Media List
There are a variety of ways to create a media list.
The easy way is the paid way.
This is going to run you a few thousand dollars a year.
If you only want to focus on podcasts, Podcast Clout can help you build custom media lists in seconds for just $474 for a six-month subscription or $799 for an annual subscription.
The more time-consuming way is the free way, but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do it.
Start Your Spreadsheet
First, you’re going to want to create a spreadsheet that will have all the information vital to pitching and following up.
Don’t forget about the follow up because it’s very important.
For more on how to pitch and follow up to land coverage, click here.
This information should have a column for the following information:
- Media Outlet
- Journalist Name
- Media Website
- Journalist Email
- Journalist LinkedIn
- Journalist Twitter
These columns will be different depending on what you’re pitching and how you pitch.
Personally, I like to use LinkedIn and Twitter when pitching members of the media, so I always include them in my media lists.
I also like to leave a column empty beside each entry so I leave notes about my outreach or conversations I have with the journalist.
Here’s a look at part of a spreadsheet exported from Cision.
Copy Your Spreadsheet
You can’t have just one media list.
You’re going to have lots of media lists because you’re going to be pitching different angles to different people at different times.
For example, I will have one media list for getting booked on marketing podcasts.
I will have another media list for pitching writers and contributors at online business publications.
I will have another media list for local media contacts where I live in South Florida.
I like to have one media list per pitch.
Your pitch for a podcast should be different than your pitch to an online business publication and that should be different from your pitch to the media where you live.
Start Your Research
This is where you determine where you want to be.
Please do not start with the most popular media outlets.
To begin there is like starting a business and on day one you say you want to make one million dollars that week.
Before you make one million, you need to make one-hundred-thousand.
Before you make one-hundred-thousand, you need to make one thousand.
The media works the same way.
Yes, it’s possible to go straight to the big ones right away, but it’s very rare.
Your best bet is to start small and work your way up.
Since you’re doing this manually, you’ll just go row by row filling in the information that you deemed important when you created those columns in your spreadsheet.
Remember, this is a quality over quantity game.
It’s also why I like to use LinkedIn and Twitter.
Reaching out to these contacts on social media before you send them a cold email pitch will increase your chances of media coverage.
Plus, if you just try to get lots of entries on your spreadsheet instead of meaningful ones, you’re only making more work for yourself.
Put Your Media List to Use
Now that you have your media list, it’s time to put it to use.
Again, before you start pitching, I suggest reaching out to those journalists on Twitter.
Follow them, retweet them, reply to their tweets.
Use your Twitter profile to share content that shows your expertise.
On LinkedIn, make a connection, and introduce yourself.
Use your LinkedIn page to share your expertise so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
After you’ve planted those social media seeds, you’re ready to send an email pitch.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EXACT PITCH THAT LED TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE AFTER ONE PODCAST APPEARANCE.
How to Not Use a Media List
Many people in PR and at PR agencies will have their media list sorted in a spreadsheet with one row dedicated to emails.
The will highlight that entire row, copy all of the emails at once, paste them into their email bcc line, and pitch them all at the same time.
Please don’t do this.
As a TV reporter and anchor for 10+ years, I can assure you that we can tell when you do this and it will get you nowhere.
How to Use a Media List
The point of a media list, pitch list, PR list – whatever you want to call it, is to have all the information you need organized and in one place.
I don’t like to go back and forth in email, social media, other tabs, etc. to complete one task.
Having it all in one spreadsheet saves you the time and loss of focus.
How to Be Consistent With Your New Media List
I see it time and time again with people in my Media Mentoring Program – people get very excited about the idea of earning media exposure so they work at it for a couple of weeks, then slow down or give up.
I suggest you block off time in your calendar every week to use your media list to pitch and follow up… and stick to it!
For more on calendar blocking to get more done, click here.
Remember, earning media exposure is a long term game.
The news cycle is always changing and you always need to be in it!