Your media list should include…

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By Mark G. Auerbach

When building a good press and media list, it was always assumed that one carefully targeted the reporters and journalists who were one’s access to good news coverage. This meant going through newspaper mastheads, TV and radio stations “Meet the Team” profiles, and then building a list of print, radio, TV, magazine, and professional trade reporters and editors. Also, maintaining a good media list required frequent checking to make sure, as newsroom doors revolved, the list was still current.

Well, as you build your list, don’t forget the bloggers and the podcasters. It may well be true that your local daily newspaper may reach 100,000 pairs of eyes and a good podcast or blog post from someone covering your industry may reach far fewer people. However, those people might be more likely to have an interest in what your company says or does.

Growth of blogs

I work in arts journalism, and the amount of arts coverage in our regional media has been declining, as newspapers shrink, and radio and TV become even more regional. But, the arts bloggers have become more prevalent, and can be more likely to deliver the audience that arts organizations and venues seek. On the national scene, these include: Playbill, Theatermania, TalkingBroadway, BroadwayWorld and BroadwayStars, to name a few.

In my neck of the woods, where the creative economy is strong, several specialty blogs and websites have blossomed. Berkshire Onstage, Valley Arts Newsletter, Pioneer Valley Theatre News, and In The Spotlight provide in-depth coverage of arts events, reviews, and previews, and openings. Amongst the members of the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association, of which I’m a member, there are a high percentage of bloggers–professionals all. They reach a targeted and interested audience, and when they produce a story or review, online, you have great content for your own social media platforms and newsletters. All of these sites have a “contact” page, so you should easily find the person. And, you can generally message the producer.

The podcast audience

Podcasts offer that same special audience. In reality, podcasts are radio broadcasts produced specifically to stream through your device or phone, as opposed to a radio with dials. And they’re easy to find, download, and play (on your personal schedule). For just about any topic or area of interest, there are multiple podcasts, so when you see one that you like, reach out to the producer. We may underestimate their importance, but major networks, including NPR, are devoting more energy to podcast production, and the quality of content and technical proficiency increases.

You pitch the powers that be on a blog or a podcast in the same way you might pitch a reporter at a more traditional media source. Offer a convincing reason to get coverage. Have available appropriate graphics, photos, sound bytes and videos to help the blogger or podcaster enhance their story. And, when a piece appears and runs, you offer the same level of gratitude and recognition, as you might to a story that appears in print and share it through your channels.

As the media landscape evolves, timing is everything. And, if you have news to share and distribute, the journalists at the traditional venues, bloggers, and podcasters all share a similar view that if you say it’s news, and it comes from a news release that you’ve prepared and submitted, it’s news. Once they read your news item in social media, it’s no longer as timely. So don’t make the mistake of posting your news online before sending it to your media list.

Remember, bloggers and podcasters may have deadlines or work schedules that vary from more traditional media. A blogger may be flexible enough to deal with “breaking news.” A podcaster most likely isn’t, because they have to adhere to production and distribution schedules. Ask the producer what their deadlines are, and when they’d like to receive information and how (email, message, etc.). Making their life easier will produce better results for your media campaign.


Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn. Mark also produces ArtsBeat on radio for Pioneer Valley Radio and on TV and radio on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. He also produces the TV and radio series On The Mark and Athenaeum Spotlight with Guy McLain.

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