301 Seconds: Media Lists

We just received our first leap second in three years. At midnight an extra second was added to the official time set by atomic clocks, so I’m taking full advantage of it.

If you have only 301 Seconds to devote to marketing today, it’s time to update your media lists for publicists, including radio and television stations, and all of the weekly, daily, and specialty newspapers in your area. Give your list a quick glance to see if anyone retired or moved on to a different market. Then take just a few minutes to call those on your list to verify that the contacts you have are still appropriate. If the newspaper is large enough to have a book page and a children/family writer, be sure to include names for these individual specialties. And news directors at radio and television stations tend to change often, so be sure to call them. For each individual listed, include the name, title, e-mail address, phone and fax numbers, and mailing address.

Once you’re finished, add an “Updated 07/01/15” footnote, then save it as a PDF. Now the list ready to send to any publicist who might be sending an author your way. When you send it to the publicist, remind them that this is to replace the previous list. Otherwise multiple books might be sent to one media outlet.

This is also a good time to look at your own press release email list. Errors can leave a long-lasting digital trail, so look at the reports from the latest releases you’ve sent, especially the bounce report. Some emails bounce because a mailbox might be full, or the recipient’s email service might have some other temporary glitch. But if an email address consistently shows up in the bounced field, the media person has probably moved on or you have a bad address. A quick web search or a phone call will yield the correct address for press releases.

If you haven’t created a press release email list, it’s not difficult to do. Consider the “reach” of your store and determine daily and weekly newspapers that fall in that area. Press associations often provide a list of newspapers with contact information on their websites. Here is a directory of state, regional and national press associations from the Newspaper Associations of America.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay