What’s the value of a media list?
They provide access to email addresses and phone numbers of journalists and influencers who cover the industries our clients operate in. Media lists are a necessity for PR people, yes, but they’re largely glorified phone books. Stagnant spreadsheets filled with contact information. As soon as they’re created we’re immediately asking when the last time they’ve been updated was.
What I’ve realized over the course of the past few years is that a well kept Twitter list can be more valuable to a PR person than a well kept media list.
On a daily basis, what do you look at more often: Twitter or a media list? I’m going to go out on a wide limb two feet high and say, Twitter.
Twitter tells you what’s going on, and media lists tell you how to get in touch with people that you want to talk with about what’s going on. They work hand in hand, and with a properly pruned Twitter list of influencers in your client’s industry and market you’re not going to need to access that media list as much as you should.
For each client, I try and create a corresponding Twitter list for all the media and influencers included on our media lists. What it does is give life and perspective to an Excel spreadsheet. And no information saved within the cells of a spreadsheet will allow me to relate the sentiment of a media contact to my client in real time the way being able to access their immediate, in the moment thoughts on Twitter can.
If you’re ever asked to relay media sentiment immediately following a news announcement you’re going to be late to the game without a well kept Twitter list.
Before most journalists put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – to file a story they’ll be live-Tweeting their perspective on your client’s news in real time.
With a robust Twitter list you’ll essentially be able to get a sense of what your media contacts think about your announcement before they ever publish their stories.
Either softening the blow of imminent dissatisfaction, or justifying an early toast with celebratory beers, well kept Twitter lists give you the insight that’s almost required in today’s real time news cycle.