9 ways to build a media list—for free

Can’t afford a subscription media database? The author feels your pain and has some advice for doing it yourself.

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As a PR consultant, I no longer have that luxury because I don’t have an agency to cover the exorbitant cost.

Am I worried? Nah. I’ve never fully relied on those databases. To truly do your job, you need to be immersed in the industry news and know whom you’re targeting.

Would I turn down a membership? Heck no. They are very helpful and save tons of time, but in the end you always have to double-check your work. Bottom line: You can build a media list without them—for free.

Here are nine ways to make that happen:

Identify the story

If you try to conquer the world, you won’t know where to begin. Ask yourself, “What is the story?” Who would be most interested in that story? Trade magazines, local business media, broadcast?

Identify a specific segment of media who would be receptive to your story and start there.

Sharpen your focus

Now that you’ve determined your angle and your audience, identify a segment of that audience that you want to contact. For example, if food reporters are your target audience, identify which part of that sector you want to pitch your story to so you have a place to start.

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