How to clean up your lists


We’ve all been there, ready to send a press release but your unorganised lists cause a bit of a carfuffle. It is crucial for your campaign to send out press releases to individuals who cover or are interested in your topic. Whether they work under a specific department, cover regular features or have shown previous interest in the area you’ve chosen to write under, this plays a key role in the distribution process. We know this process of arranging lists can prove quite overwhelming at times. It’s a hassle no one wants to undergo but nevertheless must be done.

Here at MediaHQ we understand how much a thorn in your side sorting through your lists can be. That is why we have narrowed the process down to three easy steps to help you towards organising and updating your media lists.


Before ever distributing your press release, you must ensure the contacts you’re sending it to are relevant to your content. Journalist’s inboxes are already overflowing, the last thing they need is to open a press release with absolutely no relevance to the area they cover. There is not much point sending a political press release covering Brexit to a beauty columnist. They will have no interest and it will only interrupt their busy working day. Blanket campaigns simply do not work and will only waste your time sending press releases to people who may never read them. Relevance is key for distribution and lists, you must aim to target the right people for your voice to be heard.

Alongside benefitting the journalist, this forces you to generate more appropriate, active lists with up-to-date contacts, benefitting you and your work as well. If your content targets a certain audience, tailor your list towards these people, attempt to appeal to their interests. The last thing you want to do is to damage your media relations through distributing irrelevant press releases to high-up journalists. Instead, aim to reach those journalists you think would be interested in your content through a compilation of specific lists. This is one important aspect of the outreach process.

Declutter your lists

In order to customise the message you’re sending out you must first create clean, individual lists. Separating contacts into the departments they work under is a good way to go about this. Ensuring their contact details are correct is another important aspect of the process. Do you have some lists you have never used? Are the people in each list tied together under one department? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself as they will help you keep your media lists prim and proper. Though the process may seem dull and time-consuming, it is worth the time it takes as it will save you effort in the long run.

You must be honest and cut-throat when analysing your lists. Though tackling your media lists may seem overwhelming, it will offer your campaign so much more in the long run. Keeping your media lists ready-to-go also means keeping them GDPR compliant. Having a clean list of solid contacts ensures GDPR compliance and will give you and your press releases better results.

Check your bounces

Alongside maintaining your media lists, you should also be keeping track of what emails have bounced. This could simply mean the journalist’s inbox is full but it could also be telling you the email you are using is incorrect. When rooting through your old lists you are bound to find plenty old contacts who are either irrelevant or whose data is out of date. When wanting to maintain a high deliverability rate it is crucial to have up to date information on the journalists you are contacting. Once your information is up to date, you should identify and keep track of contacts who bounce on a regular occasion as then you can read further into why they are bouncing and how to go about fixing the problem.

Overall, keeping a solid number of up to date media contacts in various lists in accordance to the area in which they work will do you and your career the world of good. It is a great method used to build and maintain rapport with your contacts and fellow journalists. Developing a better relationship with the media itself will lead to well-earned coverage and maintenance of credibility.

Here at MediaHQ, we make it easy for you to manage your lists. Looking for more information, click here or call Gaye on (01) 2541845 to find out more.