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How to Build a Great Media List

27th April 2021

A media list is an essential PR tool and the key to securing stand out media coverage for your clients, but how do you create a good one from scratch? In this article, we explain what a media contact list is, share advice on how to build a great media list and offer some of our expert top tips.

What is a media list?

A media contact list includes all of the key media contacts you want to target for a specific campaign or news story. From journalists to bloggers and freelancers, the list should include a mix of potential targets from a range of media outlets and types, from print to online and broadcast.   It is essential that it is highly targeted.

How to start building a media list

The starting point should be reviewing the target audience for your PR campaign. Who are you trying to reach? What is the story? Once agreed, you can work on identifying potential media outlets, preferably those which are going to have the greatest impact with your target audience.

Now, you need to start compiling your list. First off, finding the right journalist is key. PR professionals often receive negative press for blanket sending stories to media lists which may include all of the journalists from one media outlet – don’t do it!

Research which journalist from each media outlet is the best contact for your story and target them individually. Journalists will appreciate that you’ve made the effort to find them and it will increase the chances of your story being covered.

To help with your research, you should consider using a media database. There are multiple options available which can allow you to create media lists quickly.

Even if you are using a media database, we would still highly recommend carrying out your own background research. For example, spend some time researching journalists who are currently writing about topics similar to the story/client you are working on or those who are writing about brands seen as competitors to your client.

Once you have identified the journalists, you need to keep an organised list. Using an Excel document is the most efficient way, allowing you to list all of the information about each journalist or media outlet and keep separate tabs for campaigns, media target groups e.g. ‘freelancers’ or ‘bloggers’.

And finally, now you have created your media list, don’t just forget about it. To keep it relevant, you must update it regularly. Monitor industry news within your target media outlets to spot new journalists or editorial changes within media outlets. Update your media lists on an ongoing basis, with a full refresh at least once every quarter.

Eden’s Top Tips:

  • Don’t rely solely on a media database, carry out background research to identify relevant journalists for your campaign.
  • Include details of how to contact the journalist via Twitter or LinkedIn, not just their email.
  • Keep your media lists updated with a complete refresh every quarter (at least).

With the right media list in place, it will do the hard work for you, so you can focus your time on other essential tasks.

Eden PR has years of experience in creating media lists which target multiple sectors across the B2B and B2C markets, generating stand out media coverage. If you would like to chat about the PR services we offer, please contact us.

Writing a media list


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