The bigger the better, right? When it comes to media lists, that’s not always the case. Sometimes smaller, but highly selective, media lists can yield better results from your pitching efforts. Why? Because you have the time and ability to prioritize and personalize. Slicing and dicing your media list to select the exact right audience for each story you pitch is critical to getting results. But that doesn’t mean you have to change up your list for every pitch. Here are some tips to make sure your media list is ready for the upcoming quarter’s worth of news.
Step 1: Make sure your list is completely up to date. Yup, it’s time to scrub that list, especially if you haven’t in a while. There have been a lot of moves and changes in the IoT, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom spaces—for both media and analysts—over the past several months. Pitching someone who is no longer with a publication or analyst firm is a waste of everyone’s time, so make sure you’re thorough in your vetting process. Recent bylines are one way to find out if a reporter or editor is still covering your space, but LinkedIn and Twitter are good backups.
Step 2: Prioritize. You know better than anyone who your top targets are. That doesn’t mean you are going to attract their attention with every pitch, but at least half of the people on your top targets list should be people you have frequent success with. They are the editors and analysts that recognize your name and open your emails every time. The other half can be slightly aspirational but still within the scope of your most frequent pitches.
Step 3: Segment. Here’s where the fun starts. You can slice and dice your overall list anyway you want. You can also coordinate it anyway you want. Some people use paid media tools, others use Excel spreadsheets. Some like color coding, others use spreadsheet tabs. One thing that’s consistent, however, is the need to break out groups into easily accessible pitch groups. One group might be national media, another local media. And then there are industry publications, biz tech publications, and vertical market publications. And you might have a tab for analysts, or you may treat them completely separately.
Regardless of how you slice and dice, make sure every name on your list belongs there. It’s difficult enough to pitch people you know, without adding the extra work of pitching editors and reporters who just aren’t a great fit. Some will point you in the right direction—to another editor, perhaps—but most will just ignore you.
And make sure you’re consistently evaluating your list against industry happenings. If someone leaves a publication without a known destination, start following them on Twitter or LinkedIn so you know where they end up. They might be a fit for your list, or they might not. Either way, you’ll have a clean list for your next big pitch.
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