I still use a lot of paper.
I have boxes and boxes of clips and web pages that I think may be useful in the future. This can include anything from an analyst statistic on the number of devices connected to the internet per second (100 by the way) to a comment in a supermarket magazine (yes, even the tacky ones) that gives a good quote on a given topic.
The problem with this is I usually forget which box things are in and then it takes me a bit longer to find things. Anyway, while searching for stat on the number of new internet connections per second I came across a blog from Rock the Status Quo, on the importance of avoiding shortcuts in PR and creating media lists.
In particular, it highlights that “many public relations professionals build their lists wrong, even at the agency level.
“Done correctly, this takes several days and dozens of hours. There aren’t any shortcuts, but THERE ARE ways to build them in a way that brings better results.”
While giving some good advice among its 25 top tips, the piece reminded me there’s precious little advice out there about building international media lists and maintaining relations with international journalists.
So, I thought I’d put together a quick summary:
Media database or Google:
It’s unlikely that you’ll have people on the ground in every country that you want to reach, especially if you’re a start-up. And, even if you do, most trade magazines aren’t found on the super-market magazine racks so odds are you’ll need to do some additional research.
Media databases (eg Cision etc) can be incredibly handy. If you want to know what magazines cover a given topic you can easily run a keyword search and bring up 100, in some cases 1,000, titles. If you want to know what journalists write there, once again, it will have a (usually) very complete list.
Searches are quick and easy. You’ll find everyone you could possibly need. It will (depending on the database) even bring up bloggers and politicians.
Google, on the other hand will bring up fewer results. But these may be more useful. Especially if you’re also looking for analyst contacts too.
One of my favourite quotes about marketing comes from the early 1900s and is from (or attributed to, at least) the department store owner and advertising (ahem) pioneer, John Wannamaker:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”