What is a Media Outlet?

A media outlet is a publication or broadcast program that provides news and feature stories to the public through various distribution channels. Media outlets include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and more.


Creating a Media List

A media list is essentially a master contact sheet for all of the media outlets relevant to your club. This list should include who to contact at each outlet and how to contact them. When first contacting these sources, ask who handles community news, or whatever is relevant to your club’s activity and ask about the reporter’s schedule and deadlines. This list must be updated regularly as you learn about what types of stories each outlet likes and how they prefer to be contacted. Be sure to keep notes about each contact and their preferences in terms of content and contacting them. Don’t forget about the resources available to you at your college campus, such as your campus Public Relations department or campus newspaper.


Finding Outlets

Finding media outlets is probably the hardest part of outreach. Learning who to contact and how to contact them can be tough, especially if you’re new to the area. However, there are websites that are massive online media outlet databases, such as the Mondo Times or Spark Action websites. If there aren’t enough outlets on Mondo Times, Google will be your best friend. Google searching “media outlets in <city name>” may give you a simple media list of local media from which to start your own media list for your club. Websites like the Mondo Times may not always include whom to contact at the outlet or other important information, so be sure to do your own research once you gather these sources to create your media list.


Interacting with Media Contacts

  • Be prepared to say something.
    • If you don’t know what to say, you run the risk of wasting both the reporter’s and your own time
  • Identify yourself and why you’re contacting the outlet.
    • Why is your story more important than someone else’s?
  • Send relevant news that the outlet can use.
    • i.e. don’t contact a science magazine to cover an event unless it has a direct relation to science
  • Different outlets may have different deadlines.
    • Gather info about deadlines when you first contact the outlet & keep it on file
  • Double-check anything you send for clarity and accuracy.
    • Reporters will ignore you if you provide errors or ambiguities
      • Consider having someone else proofread it before you submit it.
  • Send thank you notes—even if they chose not to cover your story.
    • They might consider covering a later story that you submit

By Tyler Bowman, Communications Chair 2015-2016 District Public Relations Committee

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