Today’s guest blog post is the second of a three-part series by Stephanie Chandler,
author of Own Your Niche and Booked Up!
The last part will appear next Friday. Read the first part here.
In my previous article, I covered what you need to know before you pitch the media. Now I’ll share with you how to build your list of media contacts—and it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Nearly all of the major media outlets have websites with easy access to contact information for reporters, editors, and producers. In fact, they make it almost ridiculously easy to find email information because the reality is that they need story ideas! While this information is easy to locate, the research can take time. Keep reading…
Just about anyone who is anyone is on LinkedIn now. You can use the Advanced Search feature to locate users by keywords, company name, publication name, or job title. If you’re not yet connected, you’ll need to either request an introduction from a mutual friend or pay to upgrade your LinkedIn account so that you can email contacts outside of your network. You can also track down a contact name, return to Google, and search for an email address.
You can skip all the time-consuming research and buy a media list. Two reputable sources: Bacon’s Media Directories or Gebbie Press (a more affordable choice).
Use the search engine to search for media sources. For example, if you want to reach media in your old home town, you can search Google for “newspaper Indianapolis,” “news Indianapolis,” “radio Indianapolis,” etc. You can also search for terms like “list of weekly newspapers.” My search for that term turned up a list for Los Angeles (http://www.laalmanac.com/media/me04a.htm) and a comprehensive list (minus contact information) here: http://www.xpresspress.com/weekly-newspaper-media-list.
Be on the Lookout
Whether you’re surfing social media or reading a magazine in your doctor’s office lobby, keep an eye out for reporters who write about topics that relate to what you do. Most reporters have a specialty area of focus. If a reporter writes about the stock market, he probably won’t be writing about the latest in cake decorating. So find the reporters who can connect with your message and reach out. Even if you’re simply offering a compliment on a great story with a quick note that says you’re available as a source if the reporter writes a follow-up article, you have opened up a line of communication. It might sound crazy, but reporters have databases of contacts and you never know when you might rise from the archives.
Check back for part 3 of this series, where I’ll cover how to contact internet media sources!
About the Author
Stephanie Chandler is the author of several books including Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business, Booked Up! How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book to Grow Your Business, and From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products. Stephanie is also CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, specializing in custom book publishing and social media marketing services, and http://NonfictionWritersConference.com, an annual online event. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired magazine, and she is a blogger for Forbes.
Amanda Socci says
I appreciate the 3-part guest blog, but I’m not clear on how exactly you define “media.” Based on Part 2, it appears as if you are defining media to be either print or online newspapers and radio. While I understand the suggestion to purchase a media list, I just don’t agree that it is entirely necessary. I have not read Parts 1 and 3 of your series, so I don’t know for sure who is the audience of your guest blog posts. If you are targting your 3-part series to freelance writers and bloggers, like myself, a better piece of advice from you would be to tell others to purchase Writer’s Digest “Writer’s Market” books.
They have just published the 2013 edition. It lists thousands of fantastic, reputable sources that freelancers can contact and query to sell their nonfiction writing. You can spend months researching that book. It conveniently lists phone numbers and e-mail addresses and neatly lists the specific things that editors are looking for. It costs under $50, which is absolutely affordable for the freelance writer who wants to break into niche markets.
Nina Amir says
Stephanie is speaking to book authors, not freelance writers and journalists. She wants them to pitch to traditional media–radio, television, magazines, newspapers–to get interviewed. This is not about writing stories FOR them but having THEM write stories ABOUT YOU and YOUR BOOK. Very different. If you want to land freelance assignments, Writer’s Market is a great resource.