Before the internet, building a media list included only a few key pieces of information. Now a media list contains social media handles, Facebook pages, web site addresses and much more.

How do you find the Twitter handle for a journalist or group of journalists? There are a few places to look if you are starting out and building a social media profile list for your media contacts.

1. MuckRack – MuckRack is a great starting point for researching journalists on Twitter. It is organized so you can search by beat or media organization. You can also see trending topics and have alerts emailed to you by keyword.

2. Journalist Tweets – JournalistTweets is powered by Cision, a media database company. You can search for journalists by keywords and search by topic.

3. Directories – Twitter directories are another way to locate journalists in your area or industry. Twellow and WeFollow are two examples of a few directories out there.

4. Twitter Lists by Media Site. Some media sites provide their own Twitter lists. For example, NPR has created a Twitter list “NPR People” of their media personalities. NPR also has a NPR Social Media home page that showcases their presence across all social media.

Now that you have begun collecting journalists’ social media information, what’s next? Follow the journalists that are relevant to your industry. Interact with them and join in the conversation. Read their blogs and get to know their personality so you will know the best times to pitch them.

Don’t pitch directly on Twitter – research shows that email still works best. Like any other relationship, you have to build rapport and find out the best way to communicate with them. ┬áSo let us know, have you been reaching out to the media via your twitter profile?

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