After a delayed start and some April snow showers, Spring is finally arriving at Konnect’s New York office. While the rest of our Los Angeles public relations agency may not notice the difference, it’s put the NYC team in the mood for some spring cleaning. Each year, the rising temperatures and longer days serve as good annual reminders to take care of some of those household and office chores you’ve been ignoring all winter. For those that work at a public relations agency, they can also serve as a reminder for another task often put off for long periods of time — refreshing important media lists.
With many reporters and editors moving between media outlets or changing the beats they cover each year, it’s crucial to review your media lists regularly to ensure you’re pitching the right people. Outdated media lists can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort reaching out to the wrong media targets, leading to frustrating bouncebacks. Worse yet, you can burn bridges by annoying the heck out of reports who have switched beats by sending pitches that are no longer relevant to the topics they cover.
Media databases like Cision are valuable tools for building media lists, but even they can’t always keep up with frequent changes in the rapidly evolving media landscape. Look over the media outlets that are relevant to your clients’ industries and pay attention to who is writing about what. Set aside time to check in with important media contacts you haven’t worked with in a while and find out what they’re working on; you can confirm which topics they’re most interested in and maybe even find out about a story opportunity that wasn’t on your radar yet.
In addition to a deep dive on the outlets and editors you’re already following, do a thorough audit of your clients’ competitors and of topics that are relevant to their industry. You may discover new media outlets or new contacts that you should be reaching out to. You may also learn that writers you’ve worked with in the past have moved to new outlets.
Refreshing media lists can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but it’s an essential part of running effective public relations campaigns and will pay dividends with the valuable insights you’ll gain throughout the process. This research is something you should be doing on an ongoing base, but if your media lists are getting a little stale, now is a perfect time to do something about it.