PR Notes- Take the Time to Create Proprietary Media List

PR practitioners face significant resource and budgets constraints amid the current economic environment.  Often times the impulse to purchase a media list or outsource to an agency may seem to be the prudent option based on limited internal resources.  Based on years of experience to create solid media lists by hand the old fashioned way, I strongly recommend that you devote the time and effort needed to either create or refresh your strongest component within a successful PR strategy.

Media lists can be purchased or outsourced.  However, these are often expensive and more importantly outdated.  In addition, these options rob you of a crucial opportunity to experience a first person review of the editorial landscape.  We all know the landscape is vastly different versus even five or ten years ago.  Newspapers and magazines are shrinking and fewer editors are forced to cover additional beats often outside their area of expertise.  Roll up your sleeves, put on your news hat, do your research and pick up the phone.

The results can be greater than you may even expect.  Each time I engage to create or review a list, inevitably I discover at least a handful of new relationships and content placements unbeknownst prior to the exercise.  Outsourcing this important touch point with key editors, analysts, evangelists and stakeholders is antithetical to our value proposition to the management team.  We are employed and compensated to be the media experts.  How can we properly execute our duties without first hand knowledge of the editorial landscape, key players and coverage trends?

Don’t sell yourself short or even jeopardize credibility.  Although this exercise can typically consumer 10-20 hours, it remains one of the most exhilarating parts of our responsibilities.  It’s also a great opportunity to hone and refine key product and service messages in real-time based on feedback.

Take the time to engage in a media list campaign soon.  It could be the most strategic tactic you deploy for 2012.