Getting your news out there in the public domain takes time and effort. You need to create or mould your news story but you also need to ensure that your news is targeted at the right press and media. For smaller organisations that may not have access to a PR department, consultant or agency then the task can seem daunting.
If you want to build a list yourself then where do you start? Thankfully there are many resources you can tap into and, with the rise of the internet, there are even more opportunities to build a list relatively cheaply to get your PR off to a flying start. Firstly, think about your audience – that is the key.
Focus on the people, organisations etc you want to target with your PR efforts – who do you want to get your news to? What publications do they read, where do they get their news and information, what programmes do they watch and listen to? If you don’t know, then simply ask your customers or prospects. There will also, of course, be publications and programmes that you may not be aware of.
The resources below should help you on your way to building your list – identifying the right publications and programmes and getting up-to-date contact details:
- The Newspaper Society has a searchable online database of Britain’s regional and local newspapers
- The Guardian Media Directory – a useful desk reference guide for
- http://www.mediauk.com/ is a useful alphabetical search tool for newspapers, magazines, television and radio if you have a good idea of what you are looking for
- For links to sites of national and regional UK newspapers publishing online, plus news portals, magazines and TV / Radio news sites: http://www.wrx.zen.co.uk/alltnews.htm
- The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook or the Writer’s Handbook are also useful reference tools. You can usually find one or other of these in the reference section of reasonably-sized book shop or in the library. They include press and media listings bit also a range of other information and articles
- You can buy Willings Press Guide for advertising and editorial contacts – use a search engine to find their listing online. Three guides are available: United Kingdom; Western Europe (excluding the United Kingdom); and World (excluding the United Kingdom and Western Europe).
- There are also a number of tools and services that are much more expensive but useful if you are taking your PR to the next level or have a big budget. Use a search engine and type in ‘media disk’ to look at some of the other tools available.
The work is not finished once you have your list. More research is needed – you need to get a named contact and to check that they are in fact the person you should send your news or ideas to. In addition, it’s useful to check how they like to be contacted and what deadlines they work to. All this is useful information to help you in being targeted with your approaches – getting your news to the right people.