To pitch the media successfully, you need to know how to contact them. Read on for our best tips for tracking down valuable media email addresses.
Before 418 Communications’ founder, Emma, began her career in public relations, she had a small jewelry line. To promote her collection, Emma contacted fashion reporters and editors via email, in the hopes that she’d earn herself some profitable media coverage.
Emma’s PR efforts were successful, but she had to spend countless hours tracking down email address for the media contacts she wanted to reach. She flipped through magazines endlessly, scouring mastheads, and attempting as best as she could to piece together email formats.
Today, there are (thankfully) many much easier ways to find a reporter’s contact information. If you’re in the same boat Emma was in years ago – wanting to secure media coverage for your company, but lacking the contact information you need to do so – read on for a list of ways to track down valuable media email addresses.
1. Cision, Muck Rack, Meltwater
The easiest – but most expensive, by far – way of finding a media contact’s email address is through a paid media database. There are a number of these databases available, but Cision, Muck Rack, and Meltwater are the three that most PR pros use. Platforms like these three offer immediate access to hundreds of thousands of media email addresses, along with phone numbers, coverage beats, and other relevant information.
Cision (which we use here), Muck Rack, and Meltwater are well worth their hefty fees if you plan to use them daily, like most PR pros and agencies do. If, however, you’re a small company or only need to find a handful of email addresses, you’ll probably want to try other avenues before signing up for a paid subscription.
A surprising number of reporters include their email addresses in their Twitter bio. Pull up your target contact’s Twitter page and check there first. (And, while you’re there, give them a follow!)
3. Recent Coverage
Certain outlets – The Wall Street Journal, for one – often include a reporter’s contact information right at the end of an article he or she has written. Pull up some of your target contact’s recent coverage, and check to see if there’s an email address there.
4. Digital Mastheads
If email addresses aren’t included right on an article, they might be on a digital masthead for the outlet. Usually, the easiest way to find a masthead is with a simple Google search “[Outlet] masthead”.
5. Personal Website
Reporters often have personal websites, in addition to a profile on their outlet’s site. A quick search for the reporter’s name, along with the name of the outlet they write for regularly or have written for recently, should pull up a personal site – if they have one.
6. Outlet Email Formats
If all of the above fail you, see if you can figure out the format an outlet uses for its email addresses. Most – but not all – outlets stick to a uniform format (i.e. ‘FirstName.LastName@outlet.com). If you can figure that out – try looking other reporters at the same outlet who have made their email addresses public on Twitter, their articles, or elsewhere – you can take a good guess at what your target contact’s email might be.
Media career site Ed2010 has a pretty good list of email formats. (Fun fact: Emma used this exact list when promoting her first jewelry collection – and it helped lead to some big media hits!)
Once you’ve found the email addresses you’re after, keep these pointers in mind before firing off emails:
1. Don’t use a media contact’s personal email address, even if that’s all you can find. (If they have an email address listed on a personal site, their social media, and/or their outlets’ website, it should be fair game – even if it’s a @gmail email.)
2. Be thoughtful in the emails you send, and do your best to ensure that your pitches are relevant and likely to be of interest to the contacts you target.
3. Don’t spam reporters. They receive dozens – if not more – of email pitches a day already, so be mindful of how often you’re sending emails to your newfound contacts.
4. This should go without saying, but: always be respectful to the contacts you’re pitching.
If you’re interested in help with your media outreach efforts, please reach out to us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to work with you!