Most nonprofit organizations media lists consist of a sheet of paper that lists a dozen or so major media in their area, including three or four TV stations, one or two daily newspapers, one alternative weekly, a few radio news programs, and a handful of talk-radio shows. Your communications goal should be to constantly expand and improve upon your media list.
Building a quality media list
A high quality and continuously updated media list is one of the most critical elements of a successful media relations program, yet it is often the most overlooked. If you send materials to the wrong reporters, to old addresses, to defunct media or to disconnected fax numbers, you may waste time and money.
A good media list is:
Accurate. All names must be spelled correctly, addresses and zip codes double-checked, and fax, and phone numbers and extensions confirmed. If any of these are incorrect, your carefully crafted message may not get delivered.
Up-to-date. Reporters change beats frequently, publications fold and move, new media outlets open. Your lists must keep pace with these changes.
Comprehensive. A media list should include all potentially appropriate media, including a broad range of, geographic regions, industries and types of outlets, as necessary. When developing lists, think expansively and go through a mental checklist to ensure that you've covered every possibility.
Make your master list as comprehensive as possible. You won't always pitch the full list, of course. You can refine it, as appropriate, for each event or release.