The major media contact points that we use in publicity are below, and I'll define the most important attributes to them. To make your life easier, Tin Shingle has designed just the tracking sheet you need here in our PR Planner & Tracker Template for Media Outreach.
Be sure you keep this column organized and alphabetized for your convenience – it will make tracking updates quick and simple. Tin Shingle's PR Planner & Tracker has different worksheets within it to organize different media outlets in their own places. This is organized into: Magazine, Newspaper, Television, and Websites/Blogs, thus keeping things even more organized.
Remember to double check that both the first and last name of the contact is spelled correctly. Also, it’s a good idea to have the pronunciation of the contact in brackets next to the name if it is a tricky one. This will be helpful for both you and your entire team as you begin the pitching process.
Contact Position aka Job Title
Is this contact the Editor-in-Chief? An Editorial Essistant? A Photo Editor? An Accessories or Apparel Writer? These are all relevant and will determine how, how often, and with what spin do you pitch this person. Knowing the job title will also allow you go to back to the list in the future and see if this contact is relevant for future campaigns and pitches. As the media world is very fluid and changes all of the time - like every few months or years depending on the person - be sure you always update contacts, contact information, and positions. This shows that you are attentive and well versed in the outlet that you are working to create a relationship with.
Need a shortcut to finding the best Media Contact for your pitch? Tin Shingle's exclusive Media Contact Database can help give you ideas and quick access to writers, editors and producers who might be a good fit for your pitch. Learn more about membership with Tin Shingle to access this.
It should go without saying that you should always be sure to update email addresses as they change, and also be careful when taking them down. A misplaced period or dash could change who receives your email. Also, the more you pay attention to the email addresses you are collecting, the more you will notice a pattern which will make it easier to track new contacts’ information in the future. For instance, if you know that most producers emails go like: firstname.lastname@example.org you are halfway to finding some very important information related to your campaign’s pitching.
However, if you can't find an email address for a person, Google them and you may find their very own professional website. On that website, they may have a Contact Us type page that they encourage people to use when pitching story ideas. We do this ourselves at Tin Shingle when researching Media Contacts for our members.
Always record the shipping address of the contacts you are working with if you are going to send them product or a Thank You note. It may not appear relevant in this email heavy world, but if all goes according to plan you could be visiting this contact for a desk side or sending samples to them for review, so it’s best to be prepared. It’s also great to have these addresses when doing mail-outs of your newest look book, holiday cards, or editorial gifting!
But please note, before sending them a book or product sample, it is best to reach out and get their permission first. See additional thoughts about this here.
How did you meet this contact – was it a referral? If so record that information here in the Notes section. Other important information to keep in the Notes section? How and when this contact likes to be contacted, impressions you had when you chatted with them, or anything that may be relevant to you AND your team in the future as you never know who may be taking over your pitching as you grow your brand!
Date and Notes
This is the area you record where you are in regards to pitching with this client: for instance, did you email them last week? Chat with them over the phone? Leave a voicemail? Send a sample? All of these things must be recorded in order for you to stay on top of things, stay organized, and stay on track. There is nothing pleasant about calling a reporter with the same pitch simply because you forgot you pitched them the week before! Always record the action that occurred with that contact, as well as the date in which you worked with it last. If more than one person is going to be using your pitch chart it’s important you initial next to the action so it’s clear who has been communicating with that contact.
Who will be following up with this contact? What is the next step? Plan on having a follow up email after your first pitch to the media, and record it in the Date section. Perhaps you have to mail a sample in? Follow up in a week? Email them line sheets? Record what is to be done, and when it is completed be sure you note that as well, and don’t forget the date!
Are you afraid to follow up with the media? Watch Tin Shingle's Training TuneUp Webinar, "The Art of the Follow Up."
When will this article be going to print? When will your story air on the news? Be sure to record everything you can about your upcoming placement so that you can be prepared for it, and share it with your company, buyers, sales team, and other media you plan on leveraging!
Tools You'll Need To For A Better Pitch
In addition to the PR Planner & Tracker Template, Tin Shingle designed a membership program for business owners, artists and makers that teaches the best ways of pitching the media, and provides contacts to people at different media outlets through our unique DIY PR Membership Program. Once you unlock membership, you can have instant access to Media Contacts at major magazines, Editorial Calendars, an All-Access pass to all of our Online Classes a connection to a trusted community of other businesses who are going through what you are experiencing as you grow your brand.
Tin Shingle's Membership Level 3: Online Classes
Tin Shingle's Membership Level 4: Media Lists
Get instant access to Tin Shingle's list of over 3,000 Media Contacts at different media outlets. Built into this level is free access to the Training TuneUp Webinars so that you can know how to best pitch the media. Having a media contact email is only a fraction of the effort you'll need to earn organic media placement. See how Tin Shingle curates our Media Contact Database.
Tap into a membership with Tin Shingle and instantly get these awesome resources:
- Media Contact Lists: Over 3,000 names of people in the media who want to know about your brand and what you offer.
- Training in How to Pitch the Media: Yeah, that's right. You can email magazine editors and TV producers to let them know about your business. There are effective ways of doing this. Tin Shingle trains you in the best approaches. Pitch the media like a pro.
- Hashtag Cheat Sheets: Tin Shingle's super-sleuthers have cultivated a gold mine of popular hashtags you could be using to get more exposure to your posts in Instagram and Twitter.
- More PR and Marketing Tools: Tap into ways to amplify your brand. Learn more about a monthly membership with Tin Shingle here.
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