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Who is Responsible for Quality When Building a Media List?

When it comes to pitching media or sending out a press release, WHO is just as important as HOW. So who’s responsible for quality of the list? For learning and following best practices when building a media list? Is it the person building a media list or their agency/supervisor?

Here’s my take on those questions.

(#PRprochat is a Twitter chat for PR and marketing professionals on first Thursdays at 3pm EST.)


This is Carrie Morgan at Rock the Status Quo. I’m the founder and moderator of #PRprochat, a Twitter chat on first Thursdays of every month at 3 o’clock Eastern Time and I hope you join us.

In this particular video, I’m tackling one question out of last month’s chat and trying to do a little deeper dive into that particular question. And the question I’m going to talk about today is this: Is it the responsibility of the list builder or their agency or supervisor to teach best practices on how to build that list?

Honestly, I think it’s the responsibility of the person building the list, because we all know that training at agencies leaves a lot to be desired. They don’t make time for it, it’s not a priority and they rely on employees to own their jobs, their role or their task – to be self-directed enough to learn or know best practices for what they’re doing. If they don’t train you to do something, do a 5-minute Google search and identify what those practices are, don’t just jump into a task without having a clue into what you’re doing. Take time to use the Internet to educate yourself a little bit first.

There’s a lot of bad pitching that goes on, and sometimes it’s within the PR industry and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s an entrepreneur that’s doing the pitch, who really doesn’t understand anything about how professional PR works or how do deal with reporters, how to build relationships, how to pitch and so on.

Sometimes it’s someone at an agency that really has no idea how to build the media list, but it’s not the responsibility of the agency or the employer to teach them how, beyond rudimentary direction. We all own our own jobs and the responsibility to do a great job of whatever we’re doing, and especially today with the deluge of great content that’s online. If you’re not sure what you’re doing or even if you just want a quick refresher, do a Google search for the best practice. So if you’re about to build a media list and you know you haven’t done it before or you just want a little refresher because it’s been a while – search ‘best practices build media list’ or something like that, and get reacquainted with what those best practices are, then apply them to what you’re doing.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it can take 5 minutes.

Sending out a really bad pitch – there’s really no excuse. Frankly, I don’t care if you’re a PR person or not, it’s easy enough to educate yourself on how to do it. And pitching has really changed because there’s so many bloggers and publications that are online-only now, or maybe there’s a print publication journalist but they have a blog too that requires a different type of pitch than you’d send for print editorial – but there’s so many contacts to pitch now, and pitching is really best done as a one-on-one form of engagement.

So, I think I’m rambling a little bit – I’m tired, it’s the end of the day! LOL. Take ownership and do a great job of your pitching, or don’t bother. Delegate it to someone else, in a nutshell.

Anyway – have a great afternoon, and I’ll be back next week with another question from our Twitter chat, #PRprochat. It’s first Thursdays of every month at 3 o’clock Eastern Time, and the hashtag is #prprochat. I hope you join us next month!


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