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    Using Your Savor Media Lists

    November 17, 2009

    Contributed by Publicity Specialist Melissa Cassera -

    If you’re reading this article you’re most likely eligible to start downloading your Savor Media Lists. Congratulations.

    This is a fabulous benefit for premium members (take it from the person that just realized how much money she spent on PR software this year while doing my taxes!)

    Your first step is to choose the list that’s appropriate for your product and service. Once you’ve done so, you’ll open your list and probably see something that looks like a foreign language. Lots of columns – all smooshed together - and out of alphabetical order. You’re starting to feel really overwhelmed and want to click the little X in the top right hand corner and make it all go away.

    Don’t worry! Your trusty friend is here to walk you through exactly how I use my own media lists.

    First let’s discuss a bit of media list etiquette. Your media list should be used as a guide to provide contact information for media outlets you otherwise wouldn’t have. They are not meant to be imported into Outlook or another email program and used in a ‘spamming’ capacity. What I mean by that is, if you have a press release and/or pitch letter, it’s not appropriate to send the same message to a mass list of people. A few reasons are:

    1. Not all outlets on the list (even if they are in your category) are appropriate for your product/service.
    2. Each outlet may have multiple contacts; you have to find the most appropriate contact.
    3. More relevant to TV and newspapers, if you happen to send a pitch to two separate reporters and they are both interested in the story and go to their boss to pitch it – it’s embarrassing for them and a waste of their time. Likely neither will cover the story after that situation.
    4. Your odds of securing coverage will always be better if you take the time to research the outlet, the appropriate contact, and craft a personal pitch.
    5. Things change constantly in the media world – which means job roles change as well. It would be impossible for any PR software program to keep track of everyone, everywhere. Do your own back-up research to find the most updated information.

    Back to the list – the first step is to get the list in an order that makes sense. Open the list in your spreadsheet program. Excel will be just fine. Google Docs also has a spreadsheet application as well.

    First, make sure the rows are sorted alphabetically by outlet. Widen the columns so the words are visible. Now you should have a well organized list in alphabetical order by outlet. (A tip on saving the file: I like to go to file-save as and then save the document as an excel file. Otherwise it will save as a .csv and may give weird error messages when trying to close out.)

    Once your list is organized, I would suggest one of two things:

    1. Start from the top. If you’re not familiar with the outlet, go to the Outlet Profile tab and read the synopsis. Then visit their website to see if they are appropriate for your product/service. Read the articles, watch the video clips, etc. Get a feel for who they are and where you see your product/service contributing in an editorial fashion.
    2. Comb the list and highlight the outlets you’re most familiar with. I call this my outlet ‘wish list.’ Spend your intial time with these outlets and then work on the other outlets in your spare time.

    As an example, I’ve downloaded the Beauty/Cosmetics list. One of the top outlets listed is All You Magazine. The editorial profile reads:

    All You focuses on beauty and lifestyle. Contents include articles on taking care of yourself, healthy ways to feed your family, affordable clothing, home repair projects, relationship advice, decorating ideas. It is published by The Time Inc. Magazine Company.

    There are 10 editorial contacts listed and one web contact listed. Some have titles like ‘Associate Beauty Editor’ or ‘Associate Fashion Editor’ and others don’t. So who do you address the pitch to?

    The answer to this question is to pick up an issue of the magazine and read it ‘editorially.’ What I mean by that is – go through the magazine and dog-ear and highlight the pages where you can see your product covered. The same goes for authors or ‘experts’ – locate a section where you could contribute tips to and pitch the editor of that section. I always double check the contacts listed on the media list with the masthead of the publication.

    As I start to comb through my issue of All You, I come to a section called ‘Your Self’ that features beauty and fashion pointers along with favorite products. A product like Om Aroma, for example, might pitch the 1-Minute Ritual to Radiant Skin as a great way for busy all-you readers to get gorgeous skin in 60 seconds. When Angela is pitching this magazine, she should specifically include this in her pitch that she wants to be considered for the ‘Your Self’ section.

    While it may seem time consuming, you’ll see greater results in coverage and earn the respect of the media if you pitch appropriately. Make sure to keep track of all your correspondence with the media (I like to add two extra columns to the end of the Excel – one to keep track of correspondence and the other to mark your placements!) Good luck!

    Contributed by Publicity Specialist Melissa Cassera

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