What makes a good media contacts database?

A media database is a directory of media contacts. This can include contact information for people working in the media industry including journalists, producers, researchers, editors and influencers. The database allows communication professionals to search through it and find people they want to pitch a story to.

For companies looking to purchase a media contacts database finding one that is the right fit and meets all of their needs can be difficult.

This article aims to give you a detailed look at what questions you should ask yourself before you get a media contacts database to make sure it’s fit for purpose.

How many media contacts do you want?

When choosing the right media contact database for you and your team, you’ll need to consider the size of the overall database you want. Think about who are the media contacts you want to connect with. Some media databases will offer you media contacts in one specific country whether it is the UK, Ireland or the USA. While others will offer you a worldwide database, consisting of journalists from all over the world – all accessible from your own desktop.

Who do you want to contact?

As we well know the way to communicate your story is always changing and the people you need to contact are changing too.

Some PR professionals are choosing to stick to the traditional route, contacting journalists and the media to get their message across. While others are choosing to embrace influencers; bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars, to help communicate their story. When choosing your media database you need to know which category you fall in to and therefore which contacts you will need.

Some platforms are better at finding influencers while others are better for finding mainstream journalists. When choosing your media database, you should consider this. If you hope to be targeting influencers in your communications efforts there is no point paying for a service that doesn’t provide their contact details.

Is it kept up-to-date?

One of the most important parts of a media database is that the media contacts are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Outdated media contacts are not useful to anyone. They lead to bounced emails, unanswered pitches, missed opportunities and serve to build bad media relations. Journalists will quickly become frustrated if they are consistently being sent press releases and emails that are not relevant to them. Too many and they may block your emails. Meaning your relationship is dead in the water.  

So, how do you find out if the media database you are looking at keeps their database up to date? First of all ask the media database provider, “Are your media contacts up to date?”.

Assuming they say yes, the next thing is to ask how they do it? A high-quality media database should have a set process for how they keep their media contacts updated, they should have a dedicated research team who work each day to keep the database as accurate as possible. If the provider says they a few members of their team who reach out to media contacts once a year then you know you have a problem.

How much does it cost?

When it comes to purchasing your media database price is, of course, a big factor. Communications teams are often working on a tight budget and you don’t want to spend the majority of it on your media database if it’s not going to be worth it.

You need to weigh up your options. Look at what the database is offering you based on the price. Is it just a media database or is it offering your more features that will save you money elsewhere? If the media database offers a press release distribution service and you’re paying for a separate one, it makes more sense to have it all in one. Compare it with other services, how does the value of the service compared to others?

Find out what MediaHQ can do for you

MediaHQ is the all-in-one media contacts database and press release distribution service. Our sleek and easy to use system gives you everything you need to make the news.

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