How to find the right media contacts for a PR campaign

Paparazzi

When you’re about to start your own PR campaign, you need to ensure you contact the right media. This means finding out the media your target market reads, listens to or watches. It’s basic – you have to identify exactly who you are speaking to, and where.

It may be that you have a few different markets to cover. For instance, one of our HYOPR clients, Phoebe, the owner of www.myfavourite.com.au, an online gift store, spoke to us the other day about her different target markets. She has Mums and Dads (parenting media and websites) as well as general lifestyle type products (lifestyle media which includes in-flight magazines). By using both lists and tailoring her media release, she is doubling her chances of getting coverage and targeting the media that her customers use.

If we are creating media lists for our own clients, (we also run a full service PR agency, Handle Communications) we always try to include at least three or four distinctly different media groups. The more we can approach, the higher our chances of getting coverage. For example, Simone has been working with a fantastic toy company who have clever sports goggles with built in video cameras. To get them the maximum exposure she has targeted men’s media, gift guides, lifestyle media, newspaper product sections, technology writers, general sport magazines, speciality sports magazines (for motorcross, skiing, scuba diving etc.) photography media and even kid’s media & women’s media.

Another example is a children’s wear company I work with. They have an incredible background story so as well as sending out a release to the parenting and kids magazines and blogs, and the Fashion Editors for magazines and newspapers, I also pitched the idea to magazines like Good Weekend who featured them in the ‘Two of Us’ section and Wellbeing magazine (it is a fair trade label) with great success.

Start by thinking about what kind of people your customers and potential customers are. Old or young? Parents, singles or grandparents? Male or female or both? Are they environmentally minded? Do they love sports? Then think of the sort of media they would use including online, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio. From there you will start to get a picture of the sorts of categories the media will fall into. You can then either spend some time researching media contacts online or via the contacts provided in such magazines and newspapers or buy the relevant lists from us.

However you get your media contacts make sure you place them into an Excel spreadsheet with the name of the media, the contact person, their role, their email address, their phone number and a leave a column for notes.

It’s also a great idea to create a space for “media clippings” on your website. That way potential customers can see that your business is credible and endorsed by others.  A new Handle Your Own PR customer, All Day Heels, has a great example of a media section on their website. They recently picked up a story on A Current Affair and have provided the link to that story, as well as others, on their site. This is a great way to make your editorial work for you well after it runs.

Get cracking on that list now!