Here are a few things we came up with:
- First decide what kind of publication you're targeting. Is it a city paper or a suburban paper? Local or national? Free or paid-for?
- Create a list of publications you'd like to target and decide which section best suits what you're pitching.
- If you don't have a media database such as Media Map, try and keep track of the journalists for the publications you're pitching, and the stories they have written. This will help when pitching so you can cite past articles.
- If you do not have a specific journalist in mind, find the contact information for the editor of the section you are targeting.
- While some contact information is listed online, it often can be hard to find. If you have exhausted all resources to find the contact information, call the publication. Be prepared to introduce yourself and discuss what you're pitching in case they transfer you to the journalist or editor you're looking for.
- Make sure you keep track of all this information in an organized media list (an excel sheet is helpful). It is also good to keep track of the dates you pitch, when you follow-up, if you left a voicemail, etc.
- As publications consolidate during this tough economic time, it becomes even more important to try and stay current on changing media positions. While this is very hard for students, one thing you can do is follow @themediaisdying on Twitter. This Twitter account sends updates to those who follow it on changing positions, who gets fired, hired, etc.
Does anyone have any more tips? We'd love to hear them!