How to Build a Thorough Media Outreach List

by Posted @ Dec 09 2019

When promoting a content campaign for a client, it is always important to have an extensive and thoroughly-researched outreach list of journalists and outlets. Putting in more time at the beginning of your outreach will pay off in a major way when you have a long list of backlinks to show as campaign success. 

At Go Fish Digital, we are always working to perfect the way we do media outreach. Whether it be the tools we use or the order in which we pitch journalists, we are constantly testing new ways to make the process more seamless and effective. 

If you are wondering how to improve your media outreach list building process, here are 3 tips and tricks that have helped us build a thorough media list in the past.

Know the Tools and Databases Available to You:

There are a ton of journalist databases out there for you to use, but knowing which one is the best fit for your needs will take your outreach efforts to the next level. Sites like Cision, PressRush, and Meltwater are all great tools that we use at Go Fish Digital, and we’ve seen great success with them. They give users the option to search for journalists by name, beat, outlet, location, etc., which can help you find the specific combination of criteria will work for your campaign. 

Stay Organized: 

When building your media list, you’ll notice that things can get messy pretty quickly. Before your data starts to get overwhelming, take a second to create a spreadsheet and organize your contacts. As I’m organizing, I prefer to have columns for the first name, last name, outlet, email, notes for pitching, and date pitched for each entry. This helps me know who I pitched, which days I pitched them, and which outlet they work for. 

My typical list will be organized like this: 

I also keep tabs at the bottom of my sheet for beats. If I need to pitch a campaign that has multiple beats, I will create multiple tabs for the journalists within each beat. For example, I might have a “Lifestyle” tab and a “Local” tab for the same campaign. This is an extra step, but I believe it’s a necessary one to ensure everything stays organized for the duration of my outreach efforts.

No matter what, pick an organization method that works best for you and stick with it!

Do Your Research on the Topic You are Pitching:

This will not only help you draft a better pitch email, but it will also help you search for the correct journalists and outlets that cover what you are pitching.

First, do a simple Google search to find articles that have been written about similar topics to what you are pitching. Then use tools, like Ahrefs, to search for backlinks to those landing pages. Look at the writers and add those writers to your outreach list. Again, using tools like Cision and PressRush can help you find email addresses to those writers if they aren’t easily accessible elsewhere. 

Whether you are new in the outreach list building game or a seasoned veteran, the databases are constantly growing and evolving, so it is always a good idea to switch things up and see if any new ideas work better. Do you have an outreach list best practice? Share it with us in the comments below! 

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