Creating a Local Media List
By Ben Montgomery*
Who is your local media?
As a physical therapist getting started on a consistent, consumer-based media relations effort in your community, answering this question is critical.
And your answers form the beginning of your clinic’s media list.
A media list is an official catalog of all your likely media contacts—writers, editors, journalists, producers, bloggers, and others who serve as gatekeepers of your local press.
Creating a media list takes time and some persistent research, but for media relations efforts to be effective, it is well worth these efforts. But where do you find contacts?
Check the Media Source: Print publications often include direct contact info for all their writers, and even some editors, right on their pages. Take full advantage of this available information.
Look Online: Media sites often feature staff or newsroom pages. Find and bookmark them.
Call: Not all media sources are upfront with contact info. But a simple phone call to the main line will nearly always net you the info you need.
Stay Current: When your list is done . . . well, it’s not really done. Media lists are constantly changing, so stay vigilant by remaining an active media consumer and keep your list updated.
As you can tell, being a regular media consumer will help throughout this process. In fact, this is the first step in making your local press a strong referral source for your clinic.
And finally, keep in mind that throughout this process, you’re creating a list of people, not just a general list of news organizations. So it’s okay, even encouraged, to have multiple contacts from the same place.
They call it media relations for a reason.
Ben Montgomery is a former journalist who applies years of copywriting and message development experience toward serving physical therapists through www.BuildPT.com, the marketing services arm of Vantage Clinical Solutions, which serves private practice clinicians with content marketing and web development solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The author has a vested interest in the subject of this article.