As authors, we are always looking for ways to get our books and our messages out into the world. Networking, pitching a story idea, or simply understanding the changing media landscape, requires research. Finding the appropriate journalists and producers is essential and can be done by subscribing to various media databases. However, this can be quite expensive, so I thought today I would share with you other much less expensive ways to find the people you want to connect with about your book.
Here are some ways to research and find media contacts without paying an arm and a leg for them.
Online Media Outlets:
You can visit the websites of major media outlets and look for a dedicated “Staff” or “Contact” page. It will often list the names and contact information of journalists and producers. However, in an effort to control the number of pitches they receive, often the person you really want to reach is not listed on the website. You may have to be more creative.
You can follow media professionals on various social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, and Instagram. They often share their work, interests, and contact information. Sometimes they share the stories they’re working on, or actually ask for resources. You may be able to land coverage simply by paying attention and responding at the appropriate time. X is particularly effective since it doesn’t require an invitation to be accepted in order to connect. You can simply click “follow” on their profile.
LinkedIn is a valuable resource for researching media professionals. You can search for journalists and producers based on their names, media organizations, or specific beats/topics they cover. Send an invitation to connect with them and remember to include what is in it for them. The premium or paid versions of LinkedIn are particularly effective as it allows you to send Inmail without being connected to them first.
Perform targeted Google searches using keywords related to the journalist or producer you’re interested in. Include their name, media outlet, or specific topics they cover in your search.
Many journalism associations and organizations have member directories. Explore directories from organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) or the Online News Association (ONA).
Media Events and Conferences:
Attend industry events, conferences, and networking gatherings where media professionals often participate. These events can provide valuable opportunities to connect with them in person.
Podcasts and Interviews:
Listen to podcasts, watch interviews, or read articles where media professionals discuss their work or share insights. This can help you understand their interests and perspectives.
Media Monitoring Tools:
Use media monitoring tools like Google Alerts or Mention to track mentions of specific journalists or producers and stay updated on their recent work.
Online Publications and Portfolios:
Many journalists and producers have personal websites or online portfolios. Explore these to gain insights into their career, expertise, and contact information.
Network within your industry or niche to establish connections with media professionals. Attend industry events, join online forums or groups, and build genuine relationships over time.
And as mentioned in the introduction:
Use media databases like Cision, Muck Rack, Prowley, Meltwater and others to find detailed information about journalists and producers, including their contact details, recent articles, and social media profiles.
When reaching out to journalists and producers, always be respectful and professional. You want to tailor your communications to their specific interests and needs, and ensure that your message is relevant to their beat or area of expertise. Building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with media professionals takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent in your efforts. Many people never do this, so if you do, you will stand out and increase your chances of coverage. Good luck!
To your success!
P.S. Finding you.
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