Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When Building a Media List

The first and biggest mistake small business owners make is to not actually build a media list. A media list can be a tremendous asset. Connecting with key media representatives and building relationships can help small companies get noticed. Avoid the five following mistakes and reach your press release marketing goals.


Not Using Their Distribution Service Media List as a Starting Point

If you’re using a distribution service to get your press releases out into the hands of the major news outlets, why not leverage all of their tools and resources? So many small business owners believe that distribution services, and all of the benefits, are for large companies. They’re not.

A good service will provide a variety of packages for all size businesses. With your subscription, you’ll also have access to their very long list of media contacts and news outlets. This is a great list to begin working from. Identify the outlets that are right for your news and information, and then start the research process. Who will you add to your list?

Not Researching Your Potential Media List Candidates

It’s not enough to have a name and a publication on your list. You have to know why that person belongs on your list. Who are they? What do they write? What industry do they cover and what unique approach do they take to the stories they publish? All of this information will help make sure that you’re sending releases to the best people. Additionally, it will help you craft customized and personal messages as you’re pitching and building your media relations campaign.

Not Searching Globally

Small businesses tend to think small. Instead of looking for a reporter at CNN to pitch to, they look for one at their local newspaper. Why not add both to your media list? National and global news outlets cover small businesses, especially when you’re doing something unique, amazing, or controversial. Don’t sell yourself short.

Not Searching Locally

Local newspapers and media outlets are often overlooked. However, you might be surprised to track how many stories make it to the national level. They’re often initially covered locally. And don’t disregard the power of a strong local market for your business. It pays to add local media representatives to your list and to cultivate those relationships. It’s a small world, and a solid relationship with a local reporter could yield huge results.

Not Leveraging Social Media

There are traditional media databases, and that’s always good information to have and to use for your media list. However, you will also find an abundance of media representatives on social media. In fact, for many of them this is where they get story ideas. You can learn a lot about the media on social channels and it’s a tremendous resource to find names for your list.

A media list isn’t something that you set and forget. Update and refresh your list on a regular basis. A solid list is the beginning of a good media outreach and press release marketing campaign.

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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