How to Build an Effective Media List (w/ Tools & Examples)

A media list (also sometimes called a press list or media contact list) is a document with a list of media contacts: journalists, reporters, media influencers, bloggers, and more. They’re used for having a list of relevant people that you can send your press release or story.

PR media lists are usually targeted and include media contacts from a specific location and/or industry. Some are more broad, such as a national media list with contacts from all over the US.

Because pitching the right media contacts is crucial to getting press coverage, I covered everything you need to know about media lists, how to find relevant media contacts[1], and effectively create your own targeted pr list.

You’ll also find a handful of useful media list building tools to make the process a lot easier (and quicker!).

Table of contents

  1. What is a media list?[2]
  2. Media list examples and template[3]
  3. Should you build or buy a media list?[4]
  4. How to build a media list in 4 steps?
    1. Step 1: Figure out your target audience[6]
    2. Step 2: Decide which contact information you’ll add[7]
    3. Step 3: Choose where you’ll keep your media contacts[8]
    4. Step 4: Find media contacts and add them to your list[9]


  5. Media list building tools[10]
  6. Remember about media relations[11]

What is a media list?

Media contact lists are used for having a collection of relevant people that could be interested in covering and writing about your news story.

Besides the name of the contact, media lists include the media outlet they belong to, their topics of interest, location, contact information, etc. Later in this post, I’ll go into detail on which additional information should be included.

Once you have a media list that you’re happy with, the next step is to pitch the people you have on your list with your story or press release.

Media list examples & template—what does a media list look like?

A media list can look completely differently depending on things like:

  • your industry and location
  • included contact information
  • where you keep your media contacts

Example #1:

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