Despite the turmoil created by the online expansion of public relations, researching a media list remains fundamental to the practice. A media should consist of the key publicity outlets to pitch with a press release from your client, and it should include trade journals, daily newspapers, local business journals and online sites.
Dedicated public relations directories, especially Bacon’s, can be founded in almost every major library, and the PR pro should use it to research appropriate reporters, contact information, circulation and other pertinent information. Generally, you can approach the editor-in-chief directly for publications with a circulation less than 50K, while a beat reporter may be more appropriate for a larger journal.
Despite what reporters say, it is always a good idea to give them a call first and ask for permission to send a press release. This will make your release stand out from the daily bombardment these reporters experience every day.
After that, follow-up is critical. Don’t become a pest, but a call every two weeks is appropriate if the reporter doesn’t say no and/or hasn’t read your release. Sending new information, such as graphic support, also provides an excuse to contact the reporter again to remind him/her about the release. The idea is to cultivate a relationship with the reporter, and that will increase your chances of coverage.