How to Make a Press List

by Karen S. Johnson; Updated September 26, 2017
News Reporter and a TV Cameraman Interviewing a Mature Man in a Suit Standing on Steps

Imperative to an effective press list is knowing who covers specific areas in your industry. For example, in high-tech reporting you may have different reporters for software than for tablet computers. Research each publication to find the correct press contact or purchase a list from a press monitoring service.

Do Your Research

Become familiar with the media outlets -- print, online, radio or television -- and the reporters' writing or broadcasting styles. This is a time-consuming process but cost-effective and educational for small businesses, helping you speak knowledgeably to them and tailoring your business stories to their interests.

Purchase a Service

Conduct an Internet search using “press database” or “media database” to locate businesses that will compile your press list for you. However, be aware that these may not be 100 percent accurate; you should still manually verify each contact, familiarize yourself with articles and publications, and update the list every six months.

List Specifics

Include the reporter’s name and basic contact information; a spreadsheet or table works well. Add the specific area each reporter covers and the preferred method of contact. For example, many reporters prefer the initial contact be by email. Then, if they are interested in your story, they will contact you. If possible, also note their deadline days and hours, and keep notes specific to each reporter that you gather over time. This could be anything from a pet peeve to how frequently they cover your competitors. Publication stats such as readership or online hits are also helpful.

About the Author

Based in Central Texas, Karen S. Johnson is a marketing professional with more than 30 years' experience and specializes in business and equestrian topics. Her articles have appeared in several trade and business publications such as the Houston Chronicle. Johnson also co-authored a series of communications publications for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in speech from UT-Austin.

Photo Credits

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