Are your media lists a PR peril?

GDPR, Lists, Media, Media Tips, Tips
June 25, 2018
by Ross McKeever

Media lists can become great hulking things. Left to their own devices, they can sprawl into huge, unwieldy tools that are often more trouble than they’re worth. For a PR pro, an unchecked media list can spell disaster.

The best defence against media list catastrophe is a live list. A live list involves making a new list for every new release you send, instead of relying on old premade lists. Unfortunately, some PR pro’s baulk at live lists because they demand extra effort. However, this simply isn’t the case — in fact, relying on premade lists might be what’s costing you in the long run.

Below, find our six reasons why your media lists are a PR peril, and why live lists are the way forward.

The media is always changing

The media isn’t static. This is especially true in the age of social media, where news travels quickly and at all hours. Every day, new publications surface, reporters jump ship and newsrooms turn on their heads. A media list that hasn’t been updated in a week is already outdated. A media list that’s been abandoned for a month is practically prehistoric.

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An abandoned media list is a missed opportunity

If you don’t update your media lists regularly, you’re going to miss out. Abandoned media lists inevitably omit new organisations and appointments. Excluding these developments will only amount to missed opportunities — you could be losing crucial information or even a story. Ignoring your media lists might save some time, but there’s a literal opportunity cost in the long run.

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Your reputation is at stake

With media lists, the temptation is to Bcc every contact at once. This is efficient but ultimately costly. Not every pitch is going to suit every contact, and repeatedly sending irrelevant pitches to them is only going to damage your relationships. This is particularly true if your media list includes more than one reporter per organisation. In this case, your irrelevant pitch is likely to become lunchtime banter. Update your media lists regularly to avoid being a water cooler punchline.

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It’s not time efficient

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ignoring your media lists is saving time—it’s not. Every pitch has to be tailored to suit each contact. If you haven’t updated your list recently, you’re going to have to wade through a slew of superfluous contacts. Instead of wasting time tailoring unnecessary pitches, spend time renovating your media lists. Remember, a good media list is about quality, not quantity. Concision is key.

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Be wary of upsetting the GDPR Gods

The GDPR Gods have awoken—be wary not to cross them. A bad media list isn’t just going to irritate journalists, it’s also going to put you on the wrong side of the law. The easiest way to avoid the wrath of GDPR is to keep your media lists updated. If you use lists that are up to date, your contacts should only receive releases that genuinely interest them. When every press release is relevant and compelling, there’s no reason for anyone to complain.

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It distorts your perspective on the industry

Media lists are an important point of contact with the media. Every publication and journalist on your media lists inform your perspective on the industry. If your media lists aren’t up to date, this perspective is going to be distorted. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, and this means keeping your media lists up to date. Otherwise, you could damage your reputation, miss out on opportunities, or, worst of all, be struck down by the GDPR Gods.

The easiest way to avoid these downfalls is to use live lists. Because live lists are tailored to each release, they’re much less likely to breach GDPR law. Moreover, because they target specific contacts, you’re much less likely to fall out of the loop. At the very least, remember to update your lists regularly. Not only will it save time, but it will keep you informed on the industry.

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Here at MediaHQ, we have thousands of media contacts all over Ireland just waiting to receive your new and improved press releases. Our database is easy to use with contacts tagged and categorised so you can target your releases to the right people. If you want further information about sending your press releases to the right audience, or for a demo of our services, click here or call Gaye today on 01 254 1845.