How do I get names/emails of media contacts?
August 11, 2006 7:42 AM   Subscribe

What is a good way for a grassroots organization to build a mailing list of media contacts?

I serve on the board of directors of a non-profit agency, and I'm trying to steer us toward our first effort at reaching out to media. At my day job, I'm on the receiving end of publicity emails/calls, so I know that there are lists out there of newspaper/magazine reporters, radio hosts, TV interviewers, etc.

But we're a non-profit, and don't have the money to buy such a list. Is anyone aware of any free lists of media contacts? Just looking for names and email addresses, so that we can start issuing press releases, without having to pay for a service like PR Newswire (which is prohibitively expensive).
posted by jbickers to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you get a list from a similar non-profit?
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2006

I don't understand. If the list were free, why would anyone pay for it? You can try to build your own lists, but it will require lots and lots of time searching around for information online (and some contact details are not online). Think about how that time is costing your organization money, too. Building your own lists is not free. You need to do some calculus between what amount of time it will take your organization to build a quality list (that's constantly updated) and what amount of money it will take to subscribe to Bacons.
posted by mattbucher at 9:07 AM on August 11, 2006

Response by poster: My thought was that there might be some ad hoc network of non-profits that share the lists they've built. We've (of course) got the smallish one we've built on our own ... but I'm wondering if perhaps there's some not-so-publicized ring of non-profits that share their resources.
posted by jbickers at 9:11 AM on August 11, 2006

It depends on the non-profit. That's a pretty broad swath. I worked for some nonprofit publishers who would occasionally share customer lists, but they never shared media lists because it was assumed that they all had the same data anyway. I would really recommend getting a customized price quote from somewhere like Bacons. They do give discounts to non-profits. You might also be interested in storing the data in publicity database like this.
posted by mattbucher at 9:32 AM on August 11, 2006

Intern = free labor research.
posted by pithy comment at 10:51 AM on August 11, 2006

I don't have a specific answer, but I might suggest asking on the TechSoup forums.
posted by Pryde at 12:30 AM on August 12, 2006

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