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Buidling Media Lists

February 8, 2011

The more your target your press release to a specific reporter or publication, the more likely you will get called back for an interview.  With all the new technology these days, there are so many ways to identify which media outlets cover stories that are related to your community for your press release and public outreach.  There are both tradional sources and newer alternatives.

 If your press release is about a new emergency how-to guide for local cat owners, for example, you do not want to send the PR to a magazine with a readership of lawyers. Similarly, a local Toronto success story would not be of interest to a Michigan community newspaper.

Since new outlets are always opening up, existing ones are shutting down, and reporters are changing roles, a great way to stay on top of the changing landscape is to use Wikipedia. A good way to do it is to target by geography, and then look at the following example for Quincy, Illinois Media Outlets.

There are other sources as well and some are noted below.

Newswire Distribution Sources for Regional News Distribution

Abbreviation Name Origin Headquarters Type
Reuters Reuters UK London Public Corporation
AP Associated Press USA   Non-profit cooperative
AHN All Headline News USA   Private Corporation
UPI United Press International USA    

For example, the Associated Press Bureau is a newswire distribution source with regional bureaus and contacts that cover major news, feature stories, sports, finance and lifestyle topics.  If you have a story of regional significance, send your idea to a local AP bureau. The AP has a bureau in every state.  To send press releases to specific departments, consult the list of Beats, AP editors and Writers, and your release will be forwarded to the appropriate party.  Visit this URL at www.ap.org/pages/contact/contact_pr.html to locate your local regional AP newswire contact.  If the story has national or international significance, e-mail info@ap.org. They advise not to send attachments in e-mail messages.

There are also a number of directories that will help you find the right fit including:

 Alternate Ways To Build Your Media List

 Partner With Others

 Another great way to build your media list is to partner with someone who already has one. You can leverage the work they invested into building their list and put it into immediate action for you. You have to think about what you could offer in return. How will your partner benefit from giving you their list?

One tactic you can use is to do a joint press release with a partner and offer to do the legwork of creating the press release, sending it out to the media, and following up.

In return, to get the maximum amount of targeted exposure, ask for their list so you can combine it with yours and you both benefit from the success of the press.

Use Newswires and Online Directories

There is another source to submit your press releases to: Newswires and online directories. Newswires are typically used by large companies to spread the word about their projects. They cost between $250 and $600 to put out a release and small business owners have had mixed results. The main newswires are:

  • BusinessWire – Business Wire is the leading source for full-text breaking news and press releases, multimedia and regulatory filings for companies and groups
  • PR Newswire – News and press release distribution services for small business marketing, corporate public relations and investor relations, government and organizations.
  • U.S. Newswire – National news release service providing immediate distribution of press releases and related materials to the media and online services.
  • CCNMatthews – CCNMatthews. News Wire and Media Directory. Reach stock market, financial community and media. (Canada, United States and worldwide)

 Use Free Distribution Services

 In addition to the paid newswires there are free services that you can use to promote your press release. There are hundreds, if not thousands of websites that will offer to spread the word about your press release. The top most popular are:

  • PRWeb – Press Release Distribution for small business. Press Release Marketing Service. Direct to Consumer Press Release Distribution.
  • PRLeap – PR Leap is the free press release distribution service that increases the search visibility of press releases.
  • PR.com – Comprehensive Directory of Businesses, Jobs, Products, Services, Press Releases, News, & Articles in all Industries.
  • Free-Press-Release.com – free press release distribution service, news release.
  • 24/7PressRelease – Press Release distribution. Submit your press release with 24-7pressrelease.com.
  • openPR.com – Worldwide Open Public Relations – Publish Press Releases
  • Internet Press Guild: Supports journalism
  • Express Press Release – Express-Press-Release.com is a free, simple, easy, express and very effective way to distribute over the web your company press releases .
  • ClickPress – ClickPress is a free press release distribution service.
  • Congress.org has a National media contacts list where you can send 5 releases at a time
  • Media Guide: Find By Name, Zip code, or click on a Map

 Locating Sources for Broadcast Radio Stations

 Locating Sources for Television Stations

 Web 2.0 Enable Sources for List Building and Dissemination

  • Ping.fm allows you to post news and information to all of your lists of media contacts that you have built in one location via Mobile Phone / SMS / MMS/ Instant Message / E-mail / & across more than 100 web and desktop apps from 3rd party developers
  • Review a list of who owns the top media companies
  • Topix.com: Post live comment to local news by zipcode and topic on this news aggregation site
  • List of Government Agency Blogs.
  • Current.org: Organized crowd sourcing for networking and media stories. Each news organization invites audience members to volunteer as sources and share their ideas, knowledge and experience with journalists. This single source has cultivated a database of nearly 100,000 volunteers. Other newsrooms have used APM’s infrastructure to assemble their own databases of thousands of volunteer sources. Current is a service to public media published by the School of Communication, American University, Washington, D.C.

 Finding Journalists, Media and Public Outreach Sources on Social Media Sites


 Journalists, media, and related public information outlets have flocked to Twitter. It’s the perfect environment for individual journalists to build a personal following with their readers. The trick to leveraging Twitter for media relations is knowing where to look. There are now several excellent resources for finding journalists on Twitter.

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