How to Build Your Own Media List of E-mail Addresses

August 2003
by Steve O’Keefe

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“Where can I find the e-mail addresses for the media?” I’ve been asked that time and again in the seven years since my book Publicity on the Internet was first published. Publicists hoard their contacts and treasure them like gold. I know I do. Am I going to share my media list with you? Not a chance. Will I teach you how to build one yourself that is even better than mine because it’s custom-tailored for your market? You bet!


If your media list is going to be small–say, a few hundred critical contacts–you can maintain it in a spreadsheet, an e-mail address book, a word processing document, or even a Rolodex-style card file. But if your media contact list is likely to number in the thousands, you will benefit greatly by using contact management software.

When I started doing Internet publicity, I had a few hundred media e-mail addresses and felt as if I had a goldmine. Today, I have more than 22,000 contacts and I feel I’m falling behind. A lot of media outlets have only one mailing address, maybe a few fax numbers, up to a dozen phone lines, but perhaps hundreds of e-mail addresses.

My media-list database started as a Word Perfect document. Once I had a couple of thousand names, it went to an Excel spreadsheet, and quickly thereafter to NowContact, a contact management program. I’ve set up half a dozen media databases for companies since, using everything from FoxPro to ACT! Today we are…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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