5 reasons online media contacts need to be in your 2018 budget

06.10.17 Lists

If you’re a PR practitioner working in an agency or in-house, it’s now 2018 budget time.

So what should be in your budget? We firmly believe that you should be putting some budget aside for an online media contact service. Why? Well here are five great reasons:

  1. Reporting, access, ease of use…I could go on

An online media contacts database like MediaHQ gives every member of your team access to the same media lists. And guess what? They can access them from anywhere in the world, and distribute press releases from your own email address. All of your press release activity appears on one report in your account and shows who on your team sent what and when – it couldn’t be simpler. You can also personalise pitches to journalists, and schedule press releases to go at a time of your choosing – very handy for when you’re on your early morning commute. It works much easier than Excel and Gmail.

All of your press release activity appears on one report in your account and shows who on your team sent what and when – it couldn’t be simpler. You can also personalise pitches to journalists, and schedule press releases to go at a time of your choosing – very handy for when you’re on your early morning commute. It works much easier than Excel and Gmail because it’s designed to solve the problems that professional PR people meet every day.

  1. You will save time.

Every year there are hundreds of hours of grunt work lost by PR people in compiling limited media lists on ill-suited technology. Last week we won a new client from a large semi-state who said he got tired of handing an ‘out of date book’ to secretarial staff and getting them to type it into excel. If you’re the Communications Manager or Agency Head you probably don’t realise it, but someone in your office is spending hundreds of hours updating your lists. The worse thing is they’re not doing a very good job. Why? Because they are using a book and scrambling to get the most up to date information.

If you’re the Communications Manager or Agency Head you probably don’t realise it, but someone in your office is spending hundreds of hours updating your lists. The worse thing is they’re not doing a very good job. Why? Because they are using a book and scrambling to get the most up to date information.

  1. You will save money

What is the hardest part of public relations? For me, it’s coming up with original sharp ideas and getting the world to care about them. Anything that gets in the way of that is bad for business. Great ideas are what get results, they create opportunity and income. So if you didn’t have to worry about spending a ton of time building media lists, you would have more time to come up with good ideas. It’s a simple equation really. There is a common misconception amongst certain sections of the PR industry that by having an online database you are further away from the contacts, and the relationships. This is a complete load of bunkum.

By using technology to find and distribute your press releases you should be even closer to the contacts. You can tweak your lists in seconds. Adding, removing or deleting isn’t an ordeal, it’s encouraged. It makes your stories and your pitches more personal, and more likely to succeed.

  1. You will get more coverage.

The last time I counted there were 8,424 people working in the Irish media industry. I count them every day – it’s my job. Now unless you’re Superman, or have an ability to multitask like a human version of the Swiss Army Knife, you can’t keep up to date with that level of information. It’s not possible. On our dashboard, we have a newsfeed that tracks people moving in the media as they happen. We use the wisdom of the crowd because most weeks there are over 1,000 press releases issued by our clients. Every send gives us information about changes in the media landscape. Most weeks there are between 80 and 100 changes.

With MediaHQ you can seamlessly add these people to your lists in seconds. We notify you when they happen. When a change is made to someone on your list it will automatically update for you. If you want to mail multiple lists, the duplication filter means you won’t be contacting the same person twice. The more people you can reach the more coverage you’re likely to get.

  1. Be honest, your current system is a box of bits

I’m not sure how you’re keeping up to date now, but I will hazard a guess:

  • You use Gmail.
  • You use Excel.
  • You use MailChimp. I’ll let you in on a secret… journalists hate MailChimp. Everything they get looks like a marketing email, and not something designed for them.
  • You use a book that comes out once a year. Maybe your copy isn’t even from this year. (Kept that a secret.)
  • You get bounces – loads of bounces. The acceptable rate is three to four per 100. You’re getting way more than this.
  • You’ve got dead people on your list. It’s inevitable, don’t beat yourself up. You’re using an imperfect system.
  • Someone junior in the office does it, and you’re really not that sure how it works?
  • When you send a really important press release your heart sinks a little when you get snowed under with bounces. You always mean to get around to fixing it but you’re just too busy.

The best way to avoid all of these pitfalls to sign up for an online media directory. You will have a system. You will have security. The lists are no longer on Jane or Tom’s machine. You won’t get snowed under in bounces and you will get more coverage.

If you’d like a trial we’d love to help. Give me a shout on [email protected], Gaye on [email protected] or (01) 254 1845.