How to Grow a PR Email List and Keep Your Press Contacts Up-To-Date For Free?

Building your PR email list can seem daunting, especially when there seem to be 1001 journalists to keep track of all at once. But thankfully, there are tons of free resources and research methods you can use to get you started and keep you going along the way at little or no cost. Here are some that we recommend for those of you looking to grow your PR email list:

Starting your PR email list

First of all, you’ll need to set out by dedicating some time to the task. Use Google search, and do some basic research on your key media outlets. Most, if not all, will have a website with contacts listed, including telephone numbers, email addresses and sometimes Twitter IDs too. Often, the publication (or blogger etc.) will list the ways in which you can contribute such as guest blogs or forward feature opportunities. This could be the starting point on which you build your database, or where you begin to update your existing contacts list.

Media Info is also really useful, as is Journalisted for researching press contacts and media outlets.

Building your PR email lists

When developing your lists, remember that not all media outlets are good at listing contact information, keeping it up-to-date, or sharing it in the most obvious of places, so you might need to have a good dig around online.

You should also check out the outlet’s Twitter feed (and have a search for people using the publication name as a search term), as you’ll often spot who their main content writers are, including freelancers looking for people to interview.

In my experience, Twitter is the best tool for keeping up-to-date with journalists and other media contacts, and for building up your press contacts list. After you’ve researched your contacts, add them to your Twitter lists so you can keep track of them and key your list and database updated. 

We’ve developed our own lists to save you time, so be sure to check out:

Top SME Journalists to Follow on Twitter

OR for a more specific list, take a look at the following:

Top Broadcast SME Journalists to Follow on Twitter

Top National SME Journalists to Follow on Twitter

Top Magazine and Online SME Journalists to Follow on Twitter

Other great sources for media contact information includes Vuelio, which publishes lists of the top 50 UK blogs and top 10 blogs by category.  You can also sign-up to receive their media updates for media job changes and new appointments, so be sure to follow them on Twitter.

Here are some tips from Twitter on how to use Twitter lists.

And remember, if there is no information available online – give the publication a call and ask.

What information to include in your PR email lists?

When it comes to building your database of press contacts, don’t just add in the basic name, telephone, email etc.  Also add in social media addresses and list the opportunities (ways in which you can contribute) to be had so that you’re prepared when you contact the journalist.

Keeping your PR email list up-to-date

Once you’ve built your list, the key is to then keep it updated.  Again, I find Twitter is best for this as it’s usually the first place where changes are announced.

We follow Media Updates on Twitter to keep on top of media moves and publication changes. We also like to keep on top of these hashtags:

ResponseSource provides a service to keep you up to date on contacts and journalist enquiries, so consider trying their free trial.

Other sources we use include media databases, such as Media Info and Journalisted. You can also pay to access the following:

For more of these types of resources, including a list of free ones, check out our Nellie PR and Marketing Tools.

Pitch Craft for Press Coverage Training

Finally, if you’re looking to learn more about how to build and maintain your PR email list, you might want to consider our Pitch Craft For Press Coverage training. In it, I’ll teach you how to pitch to the media and secure high-profile coverage, as well tips on building your press list, and you’ll get lots of support and access to advice, tools, tips, media coverage opportunities and journalist interviews. We share successful pitch examples and you’ll take part in practical exercises to craft media pitches with live feedback and ongoing support.

Come along to one of our online sessions in return for a small donation to our local food bank, or book a one-to-one session or bespoke workshop.

PR Advice 

If you need any further information or PR advice, please contact me or tweet Ellen Carroll.

For more PR tips visit PR Q&A.

Contact Nellie PR for more information, and for a free, no-strings consultation, book a call with me.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

Find me on: Linkedin | Twitter

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