One year ago I knew nothing about press releases. Realistically today I still couldn't hold a candle to the knowledge of a public relations professional but I have learned a lot. One thing I learned was that it costs a lot of money to obtain contact details for magazines, newspapers, and radio stations. I guess I should say it CAN cost a lot of money, or you can get them for free. You can spreadsheets stuff with media contact details posted on public websites all over the internet.
Press Release Contacts
Getting Press Release Contacts
You can find these by searching for Excel spreadsheets using Google. Try typing in "pr media contacts filetype:xls " within the Google search field. Your first result should be a list of media contacts for the state of Washington.
I performed over 300 of these Google searches and compiled a database of over 20,000 potential press release contacts at major newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations.
Is this ethical? I always ask myself two questions to figure out if my actions are ethical or not.
1. Would I mind if my actions were put on display in the NY Times?
2. Would I mind if I was on the receiving end of the action I am about to take
In this case I would not mind if the NY Times wrote up an article on this tactic and I only intend to contact these media stations and outlets if I have a relevant press release for them.
Why am I sharing this knowledge? Isn't having this list of 20,000 media contacts valuable to keep to myself? Knowing how to do something is much different than going through the dozen hours of work it would take to re-create this process. I hope I can help out a company I work for or a friend with a PR campaign some day with the work I did to create the list. Let me know if you are potentially that person.
- For the basics on writing a press release please see: http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
- For press release newswire services see http://www.PRNewsWire.com
- To search for other filetypes simply add "filetype:txt" or "filetype:ppt" etc. into the search field on Google.
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