Public relations professionals know that have a better shot at getting media attention when they send their release to the right person. Finding that right person isn’t always easy. It takes skill to know where to look. Here are some tips for finding contact information in this article.
By Louise Harris
Before you send out your press release, you have to know where to send it. You must make sure that the people receiving the press release are those most likely to be interested in your story. That won’t guarantee they will run a story on your company, but it will give you a better chance. Finding the names of the right journalists will take some digging. Here are some tips to help you.
- Search Publication Web Sites – Print, online and broadcast publications all have a presence on the Internet. Although it takes a lot of time and effort, you always can find the contact information and how to submit a press release from the publication’s Web site. You want to look for editorial contact, not advertising or sales. For radio and television, you probably want the assignment editor or a tipline, which is often manned by the assignment editor and his or her intern. For print, you have to select the person handling your industry. If the press release is community-related, then pick a general news reporter or city editor. If the press release is about a specific industry, find the reporter who covers that industry. Reading the publication will let you know who regularly covers a particular beat. If you aren’t sure, you can choose a general editor or a business editor. If the story is intriguing enough, it would get passed to the right person. Online publications are usually the same as print. Avoid those fill-out-the-form boxes on publication Web sites. You won’t hear anything back if you use them.
- Buy a List – Let someone else do the work for you. Many companies have research staff that keep media lists current. For example, Faselis is a good option for journalists. Faselis is both a media database and a distribution platform. The company’s media database is updated by old school phone calls. Although other companies exist to sell you lists, they aren’t as comprehensive a service as Faselis. The company also targets specific journalists so you always know you are getting the right person. Using this platform wouldn’t cost you a lot, and it would save you both time and money in the long run.
- Read Blogs – At the end of blogs, the publication will include a link to the blogger’s Web site or contact information. The blog also might have an e-mail address to use. Besides blogs, many publications and radio or television will have a hyperlink on the byline of the reporter or on-air personality. These hyperlinks usually include an e-mail address. By reading the blogs or stories, you will get a better sense of what that publication or blogger uses as stories. When you know what they publish, sending the right press release becomes easier.
- Call and Ask – Old-school methods still work. Before you could search anyone’s name online, you had to call. Get the general phone number even if it is for the advertising department. Ask to be transferred to editorial. When you get to editorial, you can ask who is accepting press releases and where to send them. You also can ask what method to send a press release and when is the best time to send one.
When you have the right contact information, you get better results. Try these methods and see if your success rate improves.
The Next Step
You can avoid the hassle of trying to find names and contact information by hiring an expert to do it for you. To help you get the right journalists for your situation, you should take a look at Faselis Growth and Faselis Professional solutions packets for distributing your press releases. You will have the latest contact information of the journalist.