DIY Media contacts
July 18, 2011 Leave a comment
I recently tuned into a webinar lead by Michelle Tenant Nicholson discussing the importance of creating a Top 50 media list. For authors who want to get their message out to influentials who focus on target readers, researching relevant media contacts is paramount. I really like the plan Michelle outlined to seek out five media contacts per week for a 10 week period. Even without a media database it’s possible to do so just by using the Google search engine and using keywords. Since I use myself as a case study, I tried out researching media contacts without relying on my expensive media database, just for the hell of it. My book Born in the Land of the Tango has been getting quite a bit of media coverage in the form of braodcast interviews. I wanted to increase print placements so I used the Google search engine to research magazines relevant to the themes of my book. I used the following keywords in quotes: “multicultural magazines.” A librarian taught me to always use quotes around keywords to get a better result. I was introduced to many print outlets, but one caught my eye- Urbane Perspectives Magazine. As synchronicity would have it, the editor made a query the same week. I responded to the query and was interviewed by the editor for an article to run in the magazine. Having done the research in advance, I was able to create a stronger connection with the magazine and had the chance to compliment the editor on some recent articles I had read in the magazine.
Part of Michelle’s webinar included how to search the magazine’s masthead to find relevant contacts. She pointed out that it’s easier to find the information as most editors include their emails on digital versions. Researching one’s top 50 media contacts can be time consuming, but it’s worth the investment of time. Another aspect to the process, is that you can research the contacts for magazines or broadcast outlets you want to be covered in, and find out what editorial content they are covering. You can then tailor the pitch to tie in with future issues.Try calling the advertising department and inquire about getting an editorial calendar. These are not easy to get, but you can ask. There are organizations that cater to freelance writers that will for fee make editorial calendars of top magazines accessible. Media bistro is one of them.