The Three R’s For Building Your Media Lists

Mitchell Woodrow

Let’s be really honest here, when we walk into our office everyday many of us would probably rather see a cool trend pitch or social media item needing to be done rather than a media list. But the sun sets in the west and rises in the east and Chris Harrison must announce at every rose ceremony that “gentlemen, ladies, this is the final rose”.  What I mean is that media lists must be done. They are the essential base of PR. Without them, cool trend pitches and social media items are without use. So if you are beginning your PR career and trying to figure out reasons why exactly you are spending hours building these lists then this is the article for you.

When you keep in mind these three tips to building media lists, you will see that they not only benefit your team and your client, but they benefit you as well.


Read and Know the Pitch

When building media lists it helps to know the objective and the details within that objective.  This concept can be applied to any type of list. Take, for instance, grocery lists. You can’t make one if you don’t know what you will want to eat and make in the upcoming days. Are you eating out a lot this week? Are you trying to be healthy? Are you on a budget? Not only will this determine what goes on your list, it will determine where that list goes. Trader Joes? Safeway? Whole Foods? Bananas? Frozen Pizza? Triple Fudge Ice Cream? Your pitch, the objective, details, and concepts, will determine much of what makes up your list. Knowing the pitch is essential to building the best media list. It will make it much easier and help you build a more accurate list.

Remain Calm and Open Your Mind

It’s important to keep an open mind about the types of media you are looking at and about the overall concept of building media lists as well. The way we can voice our pitches is virtually limitless which is why our list of publications and media types grow and change with the help of technological and social media advances. As you get to know your clients and their pitches better, you will get a steady list of media types and editors that will help you more quickly build media lists. But don’t limit yourself, your team or your client to that limited list. Just like learning how to play guitar or learning how to surf there are always ways to improve. There’s always another opportunity just lurking around the corner, another way to find an editor, or a different way to expand your outreach. As long as you keep an open mind, you’ll find it

Remember What It’s Worth

If you are building a media list you might also think that this task is low on the PR totem pole. Well, don’t think that. Whenever I feel like media lists are taking up time that I could be spending on other tasks I could be doing, I put on some earphones and find motivation from the most inspiring of artists from Taylor Swift to Jay-Z. But that’s just a short term solution to keep my media list building motivated. More importantly, I remind myself that even though these media lists don’t often get much kudos, they are the neck andthe pitch is the head. Whatever comes out of the pitch, whether it’s an article or a feature in a social media campaign, determine how your client’s story gets out into the world. You see?  The media list you are working on right now could be the beginning of something great.

Know what it’s worth, keep an open mind, and know the pitch, and you’ll be inspired to make it the best it can be.

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