The Importance of Targeting and the Role of Media Lists

Boost the performance of your media pitches and obtain more impactful coverage.

Whitney W. avatar
Written by Whitney W.
Updated over a week ago

Seeking to enhance your media pitching and secure more impactful coverage? Concentrate on these two key areas for optimal results:

  1. Thoughtful, well researched targeting

  2. Effective pitch positioning and copy

In this guide, we will focus on both of these key areas.

Understanding Thoughtful Targeting

Effective media coverage begins with thoughtful, well researched targeting. The result of such research into the relevant people to whom you will reach out should be well-organized media lists. Start by identifying your target audience, then trace back to identify the journalists and media outlets that captivate their attention!

There are a few questions to consider when selectively targeting journalists:

  • Who consistently writes about topics akin to your industry?

  • What recent stories have they covered?

  • What insights can their social media profiles, like X, offer?

  • Is there any overlap between your message and their publication’s profile?

Journalists value well-researched, relevant pitches. Given the volume of pitches they receive, you need to stand out by being pertinent and respectful.

Audience Analysis: Delving Deeper

Build a profile of your desired audience. This will help you target the proper journalists and sources to amplify your message well. Clearly define the answers to questions like:

  • Who are your audience members?

  • Where are they located?

  • What interests them and what media do they engage with?

  • Which publications do they read?

Publication Research: Finding the Right Fit

Sometimes, understanding which sources are a good fit for your message helps unlock opportunities to form relationships with journalists. When searching for the best publications to partner with, consider the following:

  • What subjects do they cover?

  • Does their presence and focus align with your organization’s objectives?

  • What is the scale of their audience and frequency of their publication?

Identifying the Right Person for your Pitch

It is critical to be selective in which editors, journalists or reporters to approach. This requires some strategic thinking and research. Consider the following when vetting contacts for outreach:

  • Avoid generic, widespread pitching

  • Mass pitching, especially within the same publication, undermines any exclusive appeal to your story

Use the Media Relations Search or Explore Search to conduct keyword searches for relevant journalists. Alternatively, use the suggested journalists feature within PR Assistant

Staying Organized: Creating Purposeful Media Lists

As a PR professional, you could have a large network of contacts to lean on in order to secure media coverage. Whether using your privately imported contacts or journalists sourced through Meltwater, it is important to keep them organized. Consider organizing media lists by campaign name, client name, project name, audience type, geography, or media format (pitch, press release, save the date, etc.).

Stay Relevant and Updated

It’s important to update your targeting strategy when your focus evolves. Further, journalists can change jobs frequently, so keep track of those who have positively worked with you by publishing your coverage. Send a thank you note – forming a relationship can enable you to call in favors your competitors cannot do.

In Meltwater, it is easy to update journalist information either by making an update request, or by personalizing their profile. Learn more about profile types and profile personalization in Media Relations.

Takeaway: The “Art” of Securing Media Coverage

Some argue that getting media coverage is an “art,” but we think it’s really about preparation, diligence, a little respect, and executing on a mutually beneficial opportunity with the press. This requires being thoughtful and intentional about who you ultimately want to reach (target audience), identifying who already has their ear (journalists and sources), and crafting a story idea (pitch) that’s personalized and relevant to that journalist, editor, blogger or producer.

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