How to find journalists (without being creepy)
If you run a small or medium-sized business, then you probably have a few publications in mind that you'd like to be featured in. Perhaps you fancy being a guest poster with an opinion piece on a topic you're passionate about, or maybe you want to see you new product in the 'must-have' section of your favourite glossy.
Whatever it is, you need to work your own PR if you don't plan on outsourcing it. Step number 1 is to identify the journalists and editors who are the gatekeepers to the publication of your dreams!
But where to find them?
Read on, MacDuff.
1) Create Twitter Lists
Some people can be a little snotty about Twitter, and yes, it can be rife with trolls and keyboard warriors, but when you're journo-hunting, it's exactly where you need to be.
Use Twitter's search feature to find users according to their bios. So, if you type in 'Guardian' in the search bar, and then click on 'People', the results will show all the accounts with 'Guardian' in their bios. Rinse and repeat for whichever publications or websites interest you.
Next, create private Twitter Lists based on publication (what magazine or website you want to be featured in), topic (eg. journalists who write about hotels in one list, and those that write about women in business in another), or position (features editors, contributors etc.). Add the users you found in the previous step (you might want to use multiple windows for ease), and you'll have your own curated database ready for you to interact with.
2) Search LinkedIn
If you're struggling to find the contacts on Twitter, then head over to LinkedIn and use the advance search feature. I wouldn't advise reaching out to journalists on this platform, but instead search for the contact you have found, and add them to the relevent Twitter Lists.
3) Use #Journorequests on Twitter
This hashtag is a great way to seeing what journalists are currently looking for. You need to act quickly, and follow their instructions if you want to be in with a chance of winning coverage. If the Tweet says email the contact, don't send them a DM - it's a waste of both yours and their time. Act fast, be succinct and good luck!
A word to the wise...
PR is a long game, don't expect to get amazing results on your first go. It's much easier to pitch to warm leads, with whom you've built up a rapport, or at least with someone whose memory will be jogged when you land in their inbox, after interacting on Twitter.
For more tips on finding journalists, listen to the latest podcast episode at the top of the page.