A media list is an information index comprised of individuals employed in the media industry such as: journalists, reporters, media influencers, bloggers and any other relevant individual(s) to send a press release. It can be stored electronically in programs such as spreadsheets and databases to allow for ease of use when determining whom to email. Or, it can be as simple as being hand-written in a notebook. In this article, we will break down the steps for you to develop a comprehensive and effective media list of essential contacts readily available at your fingertips.

As a business owner, there will be times when you have important information you want to send the media. Public Relations media lists are generally targeted to include media of a specific industry; depending on your business they can be tailored to local, national or worldwide media. Your list should include all the pertinent contact information for your release to reach the correct person. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: Determine your target audience

Who is your target audience? Your target audience is a group of people you want your information to reach. This information can be determined by demography, interests and purchasing intentions including, but not limited to: age, gender, education, and income.

Step 2: How to build a media list

There are a couple of different ways to build a media list. The first, which saves time, is to purchase one. While this seems the easiest route and provides instant gratification, you are taking the risk it contains outdated and incorrect contact information. Putting in the time to build a tailored, detailed, and up-to-date media list is perhaps the most beneficial option. In the long run, it can save you both time and money

Step 3: Include the following

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Title/Role (journalist, influencer, etc.)
  • Media outlet
  • Email
  • Social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Preferred Method of Contact


Name: John Smith

Title/Role: Sports Editor, Sports Today Magazine

Email: J.smith@sportstoday.com

Social Media Accounts: LinkedIn: John Smith; Twitter: @JohnSmith; Instagram: johnsmithsports; TikTok: JSmithSports

Address: 123 Main Street, Anywhere, USA 12345

Phone: (000) 555-1212


Method of Contact: email

Step 4: How to find media contacts

Here is where patience will come into play as this is a time-consuming process; however, definitely worth the effort. Begin by pinpointing the media outlets you want to target, those who cover the topic or information you want to reach your audience. For example, as an owner of a software development company, you want to target media contacts that cover technology, including those who write for industry magazines that are familiar to you. If you’re a CEO or chairperson of a nonprofit organization, you want to include those who report on community news, events, and human-interest stories. Once you locate the contact, add it to your list. You can also use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, by entering the contact you identified, to ensure they are still active in their role and include their social media information to your list. Additionally, you can conduct an Internet search of your competitors to determine the media coverage they have received.

And there you have it, you’re now on your way to creating your media list!