How To Build a Media List Before Pitching a Health Press Release in 5 Steps

Writing a press release isn’t only limited to B2B marketers. Health professionals, who are rendering their professional expertise to cure and prevent people

How To Build a Media List Before Pitching a Health Press Release in 5 Steps
Writing a press release isn’t only limited to B2B marketers. Health professionals, who are rendering their professional expertise to cure and prevent people from having diseases have so many reasons to write a health press release.

Prior to distributing their releases, whether it is about their new clinic, new award, milestones in their medical career or a case study, they should have a media list. Since they are busy people, a PR professional can do the job for them.

What is a media list?

A media list is a compilation of media people and their information. A good list is updated, complete and well researched. You don’t want to pitch your story to a reporter who no longer cover the health industry.

The list is important because it contains valuable information that can help a PR professional in tailoring your pitch.  If it’s not complete, you may be lacking important details that can help you land publicity.

How to create a media list:

Knowing how to create a list of media is important for medical professionals, even they don’t have to be the one to write their press release. They should know what the list should contain in order to maximize the chance of getting media coverage.

When building your list, you should think who are most likely to receive your news, and how you would build relationships with the reporters, bloggers and editors. Reach out to them who are most probably to give you publicity.

  1. Know your target audience.

Make an assessment of who your target audiences are. You should also be informed of how you can reach them.

Search for the different media where you can find them - newspapers, blogs, radio, online sites, magazines. If your specialty is oncology, you may want to reach reporters who cover cancer, and check the media followed by people who have cancer.

You may want to check social media forums and groups. Check the hashtags related to oncology.

  1. Find relevant media publications.

You should find relevant media outlets. You should also find details, including the topics, size of audience, their readership and the type of media.

You have to take note their editorial calendar. For instance, how many times the oncology editorial team publishes a story in the magazine, newspaper or in  TV program.

When you know the duration and the time they publish stories, you understand when to pitch your story. It is vital in landing press publicity.

  1. Identify the right media contact.

You have to know who is the right person to reach out in a publication. The media contact should be the one who is covering the oncology or medical story.

When pitching to a certain publication, you should know the name of the reporter in charge of medical section or oncology. You may want to check the articles under the section and get the name of the reporter from there.

You should take note of their job titles. Sometimes, people get confused if they are pitching to a journalist, an editor or a blogger.

Do not email your pitch to the publication’s email address. When you do this, your email may not reach the right person.

Email only to the reporter’s email address. Visit an outlet’s site and check the information. There is also media databases available online where you can get these details.

  1. Arrange the information.

After gathering the information of your target reporters, you should arrange them in a spreadsheet or an excel document.  Segregate the details per column while writing the headings. Categorize them by media outlet, contact person, job title, email address and phone number.

Arranging the information is the easiest way to retrieve them later. It is also easy to understand when you compile them in a neat and organized file.

  1. Update it.

The media list should be updated every now and then. Assign your PR pro to update the list in a regular interval. An updated list is most effective.

Changes are common in the media industry. Some reporters move to another publication, some resign, while others are transferred to another department or beat.

You don’t want to pitch to reporters who don’t cover medical story or oncology story. Not updating your list can lead to poor results. Do you think you would get media coverage if you’re pitching a technology writer?

Maintaining a good media list is part of your PR efforts. Don’t waste your opportunity to gain media coverage with a poor list. Your medical story deserves to be seen by your target audience. 
Updated Date: 22 October 2018, 20:46

Recep Karaca

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