By Sandy Dubay
Posted on June 15, 2021
Filed under: Communications, Digital Marketing, Economic Development, Public Relations, Publicity, Relationship Building, Storytelling, Travel & Tourism

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[PR Challenge Week 2] Research your local media

As more restrictions lift and travel begins opening up, this is a key time for economic development and travel and tourism organizations to get your stories out there in the media. So we’re doing the 4-Week PR Challenge! Every week on the blog, we’re sending you a PR Challenge tip & action step.

Last week, we talked about how to come up with newsworthy topics – because that’s what the media is looking for. This week, your challenge is to research your local media.

You know what media you read, watch and listen to every day, but what is your target audience reading, watching and listening to?

Google is your friend. You don’t have to purchase big media databases (like we do). You can start or update your own Media Contact List with some simple Google searches.

Your Media Contact list should include the following columns in a spreadsheet:

  • Media Outlet
  • Media Contact
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Topics Covered
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Recent Articles

Then, start your research and identify your daily, weekly and monthly print publications. Business-focused editors and reporters are the best places to start. Check out bloggers and podcasts that relate to your specific industry or organization.

Then, shift to local television and producers. And don’t forget about your local radio. I’d recommend focusing on talk radio at this moment. You can expand from there, but this is the best place to start.

Do you have any local industry or business bloggers that are active in your community? Who do you follow on Twitter? Add them to your list too.

The next step is to start to develop a relationship with the people on your list. The #1 mistake people make when pitching to the media is not researching the reporters, editors, or producers before sending them a pitch. Learn what they like to write about and pitch them on those topics so you can be a valuable resource.

Research the reporters on their organization websites, Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn to learn more about their work. Read examples of their previously published content. This will allow you to create customized and appropriate pitches.

Building relationships with reporters is an ongoing process. Your media contact list will never be “finished”. Think of it as a living document that will grow and change and you’ll be updating it regularly. The effort you put into making this list will make the next steps to getting PR easier and more successful. (HINT: Next week, you’ll learn how to pitch to the people on this list!)

I’d love to hear what you’re learning so far in the challenge – leave a comment below to share!

‘Til next time,
Sandy

P.S. Would you like to have a customized media strategy that gets the attention of the media and helps you achieve your specific goals? Contact us to set up a free 15-minute consultation.

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