PR Tips
Min read

How to: build a business media list

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Search for Business Desks
  3. Search by Job Title
  4. Search on Twitter
  5. Contact the Journalist
  6. Create your Media List
  7. Keep your List Updated
  8. Conclusion


When building a media list, the first thing you should consider is the type of story that you are sending out. Is it a serious business announcement, a stock exchange story, a story, an interview profile, a response to another story or a jobs announcement? Are you going to pitch it to one journalist, a number of journalists or send it out as a press release? These are the things that you need to consider before building your media list, as they will influence your desired audience. Maybe you have a great radio story and you want to pitch it out to five producers from business radio programmes. Maybe it’s a great visual story that would make a great television or magazine piece on a business show. This article will take you through the tools that are available to help you build any business list that you want.There is a large volume of business contacts available on the MediaHQ platform, with 317 available business journalists in Ireland and 1874 in the UK. The video below outlines the breadth and depth of the MediaHQ database and how it is split up into interest categories that are easy to filter and search through. Below, you will find a number of different ways in which to build a business media list that suits your story.

  • Search for Business Desks

Start by searching for “business desks”. You can filter these either nationally or regionally depending on the audience that you want to target. Some organisations rely on desks for press releases relating to certain subjects, so searching to see if a publication has a business desk is a great place to start. Business desk emails are generally available online and are in the public domain.

  • Search by Job Title

The next step is to search for specific journalists that cover business in the outlets that you want to target. This can be done by searching for key job titles like ‘Business Editor’ or ‘Business Correspondent’ and the organisation title to find the right journalist to add as a contact. Using the MediaHQ database can be a quick and easy way of searching for journalists using their job titles. The topic search contains over 300 specialist topics and refines your search to specific results in just one click.

  • Search on Twitter

A great method of research is to search for your target topic through Twitter. This will allow you to refine tweets to only those tweeting about business or the specific business area that your press release covers. Twitter can be a great tool when it comes to finding journalists, as they are often very active in tweeting about their work on the platform. MediaHQ’s Twitter Connect feature is a great way to keep up to date with the latest topics that certain journalists are covering and can help to narrow down your search.

  • Contact the Journalist

More often than not, journalists will have their work email address in their Twitter bio or available at the bottom of articles. In some cases, journalists’ email addresses won’t be readily available online, in which case, it will be necessary to contact them directly via their social media. This can also help to build the foundation of media relations.  The MediaHQ database allows you to directly tweet a journalist from their profile, making it a quick and easy task. If you are using a database, the available contacts will be GDPR compliant and will not require direct contact with a journalist before adding them to your list.

  • Create your Media List

The next step in the process is to put your media list together. Once you have gathered the names and details of the journalists and business desks that you want to add to your list, you can begin building your media list. There are a few ways of creating a media list. You can first gather your contacts in a spreadsheet along with their email addresses, phone numbers and the organisation that they work for. This can be used as your media list in itself, but using a media contacts database like MediaHQ can be a way to streamline the process. When using a database, you can search for contacts through their job titles, names, organisations or the topics that they cover and add them to a new or existing list in one click.

  • Keep your List Updated

Updating your business media list is essential to prevent bounces and to ensure that your press release has the best chance of making it to your intended audience. Dedicating some time each week to updating your media list can be a great way to ensure that it is consistently updated. Using a database also makes it easier to keep your lists up to date as you will be notified when a contact on your list has changed jobs or when their contact details have been updated.


Building a targeted media list can be done in a few easy steps once you have the right methodology. Begin by finding your target audience and the publications that you want to target. Next move on to a search of business desks. Often, bigger media organisations will have business desks and these can be a great place to direct your business related press releases. Once you have sourced email addresses for business desks, it is time to pull together the contacts that you want to add to your media list. This can be done by searching keywords like ‘Business Journalist’ on Twitter or a business related job role and the organisation name on Google. An easy way to do this in one click is by using a media contacts database, which will allow you to filter based on the job title or topic that a journalist covers and get results for a specific geographical area. When building an Ireland specific list, this can save a lot of time. The next step in the process is to build your list. This can be done on a spreadsheet or through a PR tool like MediaHQ, which offers a media contacts database that allows you to create lists and send press releases under one roof. Once your list has been built, it is essential to schedule time on a weekly basis to keep it updated. Contact updates happen automatically with tools like MediaHQ. This methodology should form the basis of building a business media list.

About MediaHQ

Designed for PR and Communications teams, MediaHQ is the all-in-one media contacts database and press release distribution software with the mission to connect your story with your audience.

It was founded by entrepreneur Jack Murray in 2009. Our cutting-edge software is the best, fastest and most accurate way to find the right journalists, build media and pitch lists in seconds, send press releases and get results.

The comprehensive MediaHQ database lists the details of every journalist, and media outlet in the UK and Ireland and is full of time-saving features.


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