When people ask me where I send their items, I simply state that I distribute it my media list and target specific markets. I always anticipate the question, “What is a media list?” If you don’t know, you are already behind in the media game. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll absolutely have an idea of what a media list is and who should be on it. So let’s get to it!
In a nutshell, a media list is a list of key contacts who can help you get your story to the masses. A great list consists of individuals, organizations and outlets outlets who distribute your information to and in turn, they share the information with their platform, followers, share it via word of mouth or email, or take it to that step everyone loves, get media publicity.
I personally store the names, emails, and phone numbers of my media lists based on various categories. My master list is a list of over 400 direct people I’ve personally worked with over the last 20 years who I know will be able to give me an answer or take a moment to answer my query. My blast list however, is a random smorgasbord of who is within my reach
It is never easy to build up a list and you will not be able to do it overnight. Be wary of some folks out there who sell lists as you still have to check them to ensure that it is current and up to date. While building a list takes time if you are doing it on your own, if your publicist has more than a decade’s worth of networking, experience, and more, they ought to have a media lists that is made up of colleagues rather than cold calling.
So who are the key folks to keep on your media list? Here are my top five people to include:
1. Reporters – It goes without saying if you want to get your information to the media, then you will seek mainstream media such as reporters, editors, producers, etc. The fact is, they are not going to consider your store opening or book launch as breaking news, however, if you know how to correctly pitch it, you will be able to at least get it in the right hands even if it may not be the right time. Reporters like to keep stories on the back burner for when they have a slow day. So just because it doesn’t happen when you want it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future.
2. Social Media Influencers – Know your hashtags, know your verified accounts, know that a repost goes a long way even if the person who reposted doesn’t have ten million followers. The right video, graphic or story can spread like wildfire and that’s all you need to get the buzz going. Those folks with the smaller lists are not to be underestimated. Someone with a smaller lists tends to have a smart, strategic list and that might just be the key contact point that gets you to the next level.
3. Industry Leaders – It is very important to know your industry. You would send a story about an athlete to a sports section or sports enthusiast, and you’d send a new beauty product kit to makeup enthusiasts, etc. I personally practice market breakdowns when vetting clients to know their niche and create niche lists. Even if they are not reporters, they are likely potential partners who will keep an eye out to see who is new in the industry.
4. Elected Officials – Are you for real, Thia? Politicians and my product? You best believe it! Elected officials love photo ops and bragging about people in their constituencies. This is a great way for them to showcase the talent and good words within their community, a great way for you to get invited to events and even a way for you to be considered for proclamations, awards and a source for your specialty. It’s not about your political affiliation. It’s about you getting the attention and recognition you need.
5. Bloggers and Podcasters – Sure getting on your major tv station or in a big newspaper would be great. But did you know that up and coming bloggers and podcasters are more likely to book you? Wouldn’t you rather have a guaranteed booking from someone looking to build a following who will give you what you need to help create your digital footprint as opposed to waiting in vain.
You may not have time to add these folks to your personal list but when seeking a publicist, ask them if they have a media list just to ensure they are on the right track. Now that you have an idea of who should be on that list, who else would you add? Please leave your response in the comments!
I’m Arthia Nixon from Arthia Nixon Media, and as always, remember to document it so that others might know it happened. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through the contact page if you have any questions.