Maximizing Media Relations: Strategies to Create the Perfect Media List

Published on 15th August 2018

Image of media professionals talking and using laptops

Not all media coverage holds the same value for clients. In fact, without a robust understanding of the media landscape specific to their industry, organizations may actually run the risk of leaving valuable communications on the table.

McGrath/Power states in their recent Media List blog post that the first step to building an effective media relations strategy is to create the perfect media list tailored to the industry. They offer insider tips for identifying, developing and maintaining list of relevant media contacts:

Recognize the different types of media lists

Lists vary based on why you want the media attention and what you want to say. These are the three essential types of lists:

1) Master Media List  

Master media lists include every relevant contact in the industry. From businesses to trade and vertical publications, as well as journalists that may cover your company need to be included. Continue updating your master media list as your contacts change or the brand expands into new markets.

Tip: Look at who is covering your competitors if you’re looking for a place to start.

2) Reviewers List

If you work with a client in consumer products, this list is crucial. Consumers frequently seek out product reviews before making a purchase decision. Tapping into product reviews are a great way to validate your client’s product. Contacts on this list should specifically review products and solutions.

Tip: Be sure your contacts specialize in reviews, not standard articles. Reviewers look at products more critically, actually using the product and writing about experience at length. They provide consumers with the insights they want before making a purchase decision.

3) Trade Show Media List

Trade shows provide the opportunity for in-person briefings with the press who are attending, which is great for relationship-building. Typically, the trade show organizer will issue a full list of contacts.

Tip: Start reaching out to contacts 3-6 week in advance – schedules fill up quickly and initiating contact early is more likely to secure briefings.

If you have to build your own media list for a trade show, do some research:

  • Refer to the previous year’s list and ask people if they are attending again.
  • Ask regular contacts if they will be attending the show.
  • Monitor articles and social channels to see if people indicate they will be attending.

Effective media relations isn’t just about strategic outreach – it also requires the right tools and strategies. McGrath/Power offers more insights on how to craft media lists and the best tools for success – read the tips on their blog.


McGrath/Power is an integrated marketing and communications agency with a profoundly diverse history of crafting communications programs with conviction for consumer brands, B2B technology companies and many organizations in-between.  As the Silicon Valley partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, McGrath/Power more than three decades of experience working with innovative startups and industry leaders.

Related Insights

06 Mar 2022

Lead Generation: Also a Way to Measure the Results of PR

This insight post is a summary of the original blog post published…

Read more

07 Oct 2020

4 Tips For a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

This insight post is a summary of the original blog post authored…

Read more

23 Sep 2020

What Information Do You Really Need to Capture With Your Form?

This insight post is a summary of the original blog post authored…

Read more