How to Build a Media Contact List

Building a media contact list from scratch isn’t an easy thing. It is however, much better for your brand than attempting to purchase one. By creating your own list, you are able to see first hand who and what your media contacts are covering. Get to know them beforehand, it will make pitching to them easier!


Start by creating a list of publications that you would want to be included in.

This can be traditional print publications or online resources. Make sure their target audiences are the same ones that you want to target.

Once you have your list of publications, look for the writers and editors who work on the pieces about businesses or causes that are similar to yours. Focus on those who write angles that are intriguing to you and make you want to read more of their writing. Also, note what the readership is for the publication and what that writer’s social media following looks like. These numbers can help see how big their influence is and what their audience is comprised of.

When building your list, keep your competitors in mind.

Where are they getting their press? Try focusing in on those specific writers and publications or outlets that are very similar in nature. Also, note the timing of when they publish stories about your competitors. This will help you when you start planning your outreach strategy.

When you compile your full wish list, start culling it down to the media contacts or personalities and the media outlets that are on your top-priority list. Make sure you follow these people and outlets. Interact with them in comments on other pieces. Share their other pieces on your social media or with your networks. Be persistent in reaching out to them, but not annoying.

For your other tiers on your media contact list, don’t neglect to start building those relationships or to send your press releases to those contacts, but there are only so many hours in any given day so it’s important to work off of your priority list first. Regularly schedule a certain amount of time to update your media contact list. Contacts can change positions, get new assignments, and more. Publications can close down and websites can change ownership or focus. By keeping up with your contacts on a regular basis, you will have much less work when you are ready to send out a press release or media pitch.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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