Part of every PR campaign will inevitably mean reaching out to local press. This could mean telling your success story to your hometown press, or it could also mean that you're planning to visit cities other than your own and you need to figure out what outlets there need to be pitched. Publicists do the same thing, if we have a client doing a media tour in a city we aren't familiar with we need to quickly figure out the press outlets that are located there, determine which ones are relevant to our campaign/client/pitches and begin outreach.
Here's another time you should begin to think about media outlets in diferent cities: anytime you are visiting one. If you are an expert or entrepreneur with a story or tips to share, and you find yourself in another city for a few days, why aren't you trying to reach out to the news media there and tell them your story? There is no reason you shouldn't be spending a little bit of time allocated for PR outreach to see if you can do a segment while you're in town. Okay scractch that, there is a reason: if you have nothing relevant to share with them, don't reach out to them. If you're in Dallas and you run a company that does NYC bus tours, this may not be your scene. That said, if you are a home organizer and you can take your tips on the road, it's worth a try!
Often the first step here is the hardest - which outlets do I reach out to? Well long story short, that's the point of this blog entry. Even though publicists have access to great databases filled with names of outlets that span from newspapers to radio shows for nearly every geographic location in the country (which we pay for), we still need to start somewhere. I personally often struggle with hunting down the tv stations for different cities - in New York City local NBC is WNBC - what is it in other parts of the country, like Columbus, Ohio? Detroit, Michigan? Atlanta? Sure I can seach within databases but I want a quick lay out of all the tv stations in a city at once and I want it fast. Sometimes I want to see every newspaper in Miami, or another time recently I wanted to find every Home Decorating & Design media outlet that was a national outlet.
Where do I go for these things? I go to the Mondo Times website. It houses over 27,670 outlets in over 212 countries! Now it's not going to specify which reporter you should call or their contact info but it will tell you things like what it covers, a description, how often it comes out etc. It's the best place to start, especially if you don't have access to a fancy media database. Several entries even take you to the outlet's website where you can find more contact information.
Keep this website in your back pocket, it's worth it whenver you need to find outlets locally, nationally and even internationally! Sure you can pay for fancy contact lists but wait for the time when you can really spend your overhead on that. For now, use tools like this to get the job done!