Every PR person has to create media lists during their career. From building a list from scratch to accessing your own personal database of names and publications, either way – most clients and their products call for the creation of a media list tailored to their specific news and target audience.

Evan Carmichael has some of the best tips for creating a targeted and effective media list. With so much accessible information on-line, as well as the new media category of “bloggers,” building an effective list is still time-consuming but is also easier than ever.

Here are three more points I would like to add to Evan’s list:

  1. Because we are often given small budgets for PR, online newswires and database directories should be used as a last resort. While they often offer up-to-date factual information, more times than not, the information about the particular journalist or producer is not always accurate which wastes time and money.
  2. One of the most important aspects of your media list spreadsheet is a section labeled “notes.” Every media contact should have a few words next to his or her name on the list. What stories do they like? What are their pet peeves? Do they accept products? This kind of attention to detail will pay off, and perhaps make your next list a breeze to create!
  3. When you have down time, update. Look over your lists, do some research, ensure the contact is still there, or that the phone numbers or addresses are correct. Maintaining the lists are often more important than creating them!

So good luck in building your list and let us know if you have any other hints and tips we can use for the next time we build our own list!