It is a good idea to have a list of journalists that you keep in touch with. Ideally, this information should be stored within your CRM and each contact should be marked (flagged) as ‘Media’ so that you can find them easily.
For each journalist, you need their first and last name; their job title; the media property (i.e. magazine) they write for; an email address; their Twitter handle; a landine and / or mobile telephone number; website address; and topics that they write about.
Having compiled a list of journalists, the next step is to email them and introduce yourself and your enterprise.
They key thing here is to think ‘relevance’. Is your story relevant to this journalist? Why is this the case?
For example, you could email the editor of your local newspaper mentioning that you live and work in the area. Or you could communicate with a trade magazine when you have an interesting case study that they might be interested in. This is a big topic and I was continually learning when I ran a PR agency for nine years.
Journalists often use Twitter. Ensure that you follow them there. From time to time, include their Twitter handle when you are announcing something relevant to them. Do not expect them to respond to Twitter direct messages.
Journalists can either be employed or they can be freelancers. Freelancers usually specialise in either one subject or a handful of subjects. Look out for them as you read editorial, particularly if contact information is provided.
It is worth mentioning that media coverage is important but not urgent. If you are running a business or if you are a professional marketer, you will have many things to do and many deadlines. PR can always wait until tomorrow, can’t it? Interestingly, PR / media relations is one of the most powerful and effective promotional techniques and it is worth investing your time in this activity.