Every successful marketing strategy goes through the road of accurate press releases, which directly depends on the press distribution list you work with. It goes hand in hand with your digital presence, reaping the benefits of growth, visibility, and healthy partnerships. 

Well-structured and timely maintained contact lists are essential for media marketing. If you don’t know how to create one, this article is going to be a gem mine for your brand. 

What is a PR List? 

A press or media distribution list is a contact book that businesses use to distribute their news. It consists of contact details of relevant journalists and media professionals, along with their names, addresses, designations, and other professional data. A comprehensive list also involves other relevant contacts like bloggers, influencers, or reporters.  

Investing in a media list is vital to the success of your press release distribution campaigns. It’s the first step to formulating a robust public relations strategy. A press list helps keep a record of your communications and build a long-lasting relationship with the right media persons. 

How to Create a Press Distribution List 

Formulating a list of media contacts can be a hectic task if you don’t have online PR distribution services for handling. Starting early and following the right steps can produce lasting benefits for your public relations efforts. 

Define your Target Audience 

The first and foremost step of creating a media distribution list is identifying the target audience. In the PR world, it is usually two groups to target; the media professionals and the readers. 

The primary one consists of the personnel who will publish your press releases. Most people only focus on this target group. However, it is also crucial to pay heed to the readers and what they like if you want to drive sales. 

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Depending on the defined target groups, you can narrow down your search to only relevant media contacts having a local or global viewpoint. Define if you want to promote your brand locally or to an internal audience. Similarly, identify the industry or whether you want to evoke cross-sector communications. You can focus on more than two groups. For example, if you provide both B2B and B2C services. 

Searching for Contacts

Contacts are the main pillars of a distribution list. You can find them from any of the two methods;

  1. Manual Search 

Searching for contacts manually over the internet is the instinct of everyone new in the PR industry. This method is time-consuming and requires much human effort. Go over to Google or other search engines, type your target keyword and profession, and search. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can also help provide refined results. 

Another way to manually find contacts is by searching for the news channels and finding contact persons there. You may search your competitors to see what websites and publications they are targeting. 

  1. Using Databases 

Most often, people who work in this industry or provide PR seo services have hands-on experience in using media databases. These are usually paid tools having a giant pool of media contacts. You can refine the results based on the filters of location, industry, specialty, and language, among others. The best part of this method is that it is efficient, always up-to-date, and time-saving. 

Note that quantity may not be the way to success in terms of media contacts. Focus on reaching the right journalists to boost your news. 

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Whichever technique you follow, keep yourself aware of the relevant media landscape. Finding contacts takes time, so don’t expect to connect with the top voices at the beginning of your PR journey. 


Structure a distribution list properly with valuable information to serve its purpose well. The finer you press release format it, the quicker you can filter relevant personals. 

When structuring your list, divide the contacts based on their work medium. Include the following personal information in your sheet:

  • Full Name
  • Phone Number 
  • Publication/Channel Name
  • Designation 
  • Specific topics covered 
  • Country or Region 
  • Email address 
  • Social media accounts

If possible, supplement the list with additional details for further clarification, such as: 

  • Languages  
  • Interests & Hobbies 
  • Writing Style 
  • Coverage specifics 
  • Professional Networks 
  • Their preferred method of communication 

It is essential to check your list in a timely manner for updates or edits, such as relocation or a change in designation. Keep on adding new contacts based on their value in the industry. 

Press Lists – A Vital Tool for Media Relations 

A carefully crafted press distribution list can elevate your media strategy and serve as a foundation for lasting media relations. 

Converse with the professionals on your list like you are here to make a connection. If creating and maintaining a list feels like too much work (as it is), you can buy press release distribution services for assistance. These agencies have years of experience creating press lists, finding distributors, and keeping close contact with them.