Back to Blog

Killing Data – Media Lists the Smart Way

by on

Any good PR agency counts its media contacts as its most important constituency. Clients pay the bills, but they come and go. Journalists and bloggers, meanwhile, influence success over years and decades. However, agency management of these media resources is invariably both imperfect and inefficient. If you disagree, ask yourself two questions: “Am I sure that every engagement by my staff with the media is as good as it can be?” And, “Is it straightforward for my teams to generate media lists for projects and new business pitches?” If the answer to either of these questions is “No,” then you need to read on.

Knowledge Base? It’s All in the Mind

Fundamental to both questions is the fact that the most important knowledge base in your agency resides not on some centrally accessible server, but in the minds of your employees.

Let’s look at engagement. If you held an “all hands” meeting and asked about a particular contact, I’m sure you’d find out a number of things: what time of day the person prefers to be contacted, whether getting in touch via Twitter is considered an asset or an abuse, and whether the prospect of attending a baseball game would be greeted with a “Yeah!” or a yawn. But it’s unlikely that any single employee tasked would know all the above. And how do you stop four different teams emailing the same key contact on the same day about different stories?

Similarly, creating a media list is a weekly occurrence – at least – in any large agency. Typically, you might ask a junior employee who had previously worked on a similar account to work on this project. Assuming this employee is in the office and has the time, he or she might take half a day to pull some names from FeaturesExec, run a Factiva search, and draw on personal experience to get it done. But chances are that key nuggets of data that colleagues elsewhere in the office have gathered – nuggets that might make a real difference to the outcome – won’t be included.

On the plus side, if this media list is pulled together on behalf of an existing client, then you can at least claim back the invested time via retainer. However, if the list is being created for a project or a pitch, then this is pure investment by your company, and I’d be willing to bet that it’s needlessly expensive.

Take It Easy!

In both situations, the solution lies in the shape of today’s agile, cloud-based CRM software, which provides a central repository where your employees’ collective knowledge can be stored. You can make best practice rules of engagement accessible to any person that might need them, and you can easily find out if the same contact is about to be overloaded with emails from your teams. In addition, a media list containing all your knowledge of a particular industry or topic can be generated at the press of a button.

Ask yourself: how much happier and more productive would your agency be if you replaced imperfect and inefficient processes with a system that actually worked?

Get in Touch

If you want to find out more about how relationship management software can enhance your relationships and your bottom line, feel free to get in touch – and, if you liked this post, please take the time to share it with your community.