PR Tips
Min read

How to: build a health media list


Building a good media list is the foundation of success when it comes to sharing your story with your audience. The first thing to consider when building a health related media list is the type of story that you are sending out. Is it a job announcement, a report, a personal story or a response to another story? Are you going to send your press release to a group of journalists or pitch to a few contacts? Establishing the type of story and your target audience will outline how you go about building your list. Maybe your health story would make a great piece in a broadsheet, or it might be more suited to a radio segment if it is a reactionary piece. This piece will break down the pr tools that are available to help you to build the perfect health media list for your story.The MediaHQ platform contains a large volume of health contacts which can be distilled down further by topic. With 193 Irish health contacts and 2,414 UK health contacts, your search can be further refined by topics including Medicine, Mental Health, Nutrition, Social Care and Wellbeing. The aim of topic search is to allow you to refine your search to find the contacts that will most likely cover your story and appeal to your audience. Below, you will find a number of different ways in which to build a health media list that suits your story.

Search for Health Desks

Searching for health desks is a good way to begin the list building process. 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 health desk is a great place to start. Health desk emails are generally widely available and act as a great starting point if you are looking to widely distribute a press release to the national media.

Search by Job Title

Searching for health contacts via their job title can be a great way to source specific journalists who cover the topic for either national or regional media outlets. Using a media contacts database like MediaHQ allows you to filter through health contacts by their specific job title, ranging from Correspondent and Editor to Presenter and Producer. With 193 health contacts available on the Irish database, distilling your search by job title is a quick and easy way to find the right people for your list.

Search on Twitter

Many journalists use Twitter on a regular basis to tweet about their work and industry. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health matters have been widely covered in the news and across Twitter. Twitter allows you to search both the people you follow and everyone on the platform, which can be a good way of distilling your search results. Twitter Connect is a feature of the MediaHQ database that allows you to search for a topic among the Twitter accounts of only journalists on the database. This is an easy way to filter out general tweets and news about health, and instead see exactly which journalists in your region are tweeting about health stories.

Contact the Journalist

In the event that you don’t have access to contact details for a journalist and their email isn’t readily available in the Twitter bio or on an article, it can be a good idea to contact them. Sending them a message via Twitter or LinkedIn or contacting them through their website can not only be a good way of getting their contact details, but it can be the first step in establishing media relations. This can, however, be a tedious task and a response isn’t guaranteed. Using a media contacts database like MediaHQ can be a great way to save time looking for journalists’ email address, as it will be available on the system.

Create your Media List

Once you have noted the type of press release that you are sending, your desired audience and the medium through which is best to reach them, it is time to build your media list. There are different methods to creating a media list, from putting together a spreadsheet of your research, to using a media contacts database (like MediaHQ) to find and collate your health contacts into a list. Using a database makes it easy to search for contacts with their job titles, names, organisations or the topics that they cover. You can then create a new list or add these contacts to an existing one in just a few clicks.

Keep your List Updated

Once you have created your media list, it is essential to keep it updated on a regular basis in order to keep deliverability high and prevent email bounces. Dedicating some time each week to ensuring that your media list is up to date can be a great way of improving your media coverage, as well as maintaining strong media relations. PR tools like MediaHQ do this as part of their core offering.


Building a targeted media list may seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple rules, it can be painless and add a lot of value to your communications strategy. Begin by finding your target audience and the publications that you want to target. Next move on to a search for health desks. Often, bigger media organisations will have health desks and these can be a great place to direct your business related press releases. Once you have found health desk contacts, it is time to research the journalists that are likely to be interested in your story. There are a number of methods that you can use to research journalists, including searching the internet or Twitter, or using a database of media contacts like MediaHQ. Using a media contacts database will allow you to filter based on the job title or topic that a journalist covers and get results for a specific geographical area. 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 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. This methodology should form the basis of building a health 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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