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    How to Build a Media List in 5 Minutes


    Building the right media list is crucial for effective public relations and media outreach. A media list is a targeted database of journalists, reporters, and other media professionals covering topics relevant to your business or organization. 

    A well-curated media list ensures that your pitches can reach the right audience. And, having a smaller list allows you to personalize your pitch. Remember, journalists receive hundreds of pitches a day. Sending your news to only a handful of relevant journalists with a tailored message increases the chances of being noticed, and ultimately written about.

    Here are our three recommended steps to develop a curated media list.

    Step 1: Build a targeted media list

    Before you can get to the who, start with the what. Work with your client to uncover what story they are trying to convey. Then, you can figure out who is the right person to tell that story. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can conduct targeted research on what journalists cover related beats. Make sure to dig into their recently written articles — are they similar? Do they range in topic or are they singularly focused on one story right now? Be sure to research and get as specific as possible to build a list based on the right journalist for your story.

    P.S. Did you know you can eliminate this step and all the others below by using OnePitch? Sign up for a free 14-day trial and take the guesswork out of pitching. Receive targeted media lists for your news in 5 seconds or less, with no legwork on your end. Try it out here.


    Step 2: Research your intended targets

    Once you’ve found your target audience and selected reporters, conduct further research into what the reporter would be interested in. Quick searches and scans of their social media and publication bios can show you a real-time look into what they’re looking for so you can tailor your pitch to their needs. Mass pitching journalists may be quicker, but tailoring your pitches to the interests and expertise of individual journalists increases the likelihood of them engaging with you. Use your time and energy wisely by crafting personalized and targeted pitches to entice journalists effectively.

    Carly Martinetti, the Co-founder at NotablyPR, shares her “PR Growth Tip” that can save your pitch from being unread and help your reputation with journalists: 


    Screen Shot 2023-08-17 at 4.58.34 PM

    Step 3: Prioritize media list maintenance

    Media contacts are constantly moving positions, outlets, or coverage areas. Keeping up with reporter beat and publication changes can seem daunting. But staying on top of reporters’ activities takes only a little bit of time each week and can save you a massive amount of time when you need to start pitching.


    As you begin your journey into building a new media list, leverage information already built out. Whether that’s a compressive guide of 50 reporters, editors, and freelancers or other account media lists, you can crosscheck current lists to build a new comprehensive media list. Other solutions? Check out media databases, such as OnePitch, to save time by filtering the search for your needs to make your outreach efforts easier. 




    Want to land a placement in a top publication like Forbes? Try OnePitch for free, submit your client/brand information, get your curated media list, and start pitching directly on your OnePitch profile.

    From an agency reporter to senior editors, learn how to pitch journalists on #CoffeeWithAJournalist. See more examples of pitches that landed on The TypeBar.

    Do you have a pitch that landed your client exceptional coverage that you want to highlight? Email us at with your pitch and 3-5 reasons why you believe it worked.


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