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How To Create and Leverage Your Media Database in the Middle East

Khalipha Ntloko

Feb 26, 2021

Arab News recently announced the Saudi Arabian editions of international luxury and lifestyle magazines, Harper's Bazaar and Esquire. The news brings much excitement within the world of fashion publishing, as this is the first time that these magazines will be published not only in the region but in a bilingual format as well. With 33% of social media users in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) feeling positive towards this announcements, and 5 news media mentions on what the luxury magazines could bring to the region, going public with big news to the media may seem like a daunting task for public relations professionals.

However, that task can be made a little less daunting by using a media database. By finding the right journalists, the announcements and news you have to share - no matter how big or small - will reach the right audience.

In this blog post, we'll take a look into how you can use a media database in the Middle East as a tool to supercharge your PR efforts.

Tip: Learn more about media in Saudi Arabia.

What is a Media Database?

In essence, a media database is a list of journalists, reporters, and other influencers, like bloggers and social media personalities. This list contains the contact information of these journalists and reporters, and allows PR and communications professionals to search and find the right people to reach out to when seeking earned media coverage.

In most media databases, you search for the right people by a variety of filters—like location, reach, media channel or topic of interest—to find the media contacts that would be most relevant and best suited for the news or campaign that you intend to share with the public.

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Journalist vs Influencer

Before the likes of digital and online media came along, journalists were the primary source of information the people would turn to, as they were deemed credible and trustworthy. However, with the rise of fake news, the trust that people once had in journalists has started to decline, and instead, have turned to influential figures for information. But, it's important to note that while journalists can be influencers, the same can't be said vice versa.

When you think about what an influencer is, people often think about social media influencers, and the influential figures on social media platforms who have a large number of fans and followers. While influencers have the power to impact the purchasing decisions of their followers, journalists gather and present information in a news story to the general public. Each has their own allure and purpose as an advocate for your brand, and having the right influencer or journalist to spread information about you to their audience can make all the difference.

Why You Need a Media Database in the Middle East

Whether you are aiming to send out a press release or share an exciting company update, trying to execute a public relations campaign successfully, without the use of a media database, will feel a lot like talking to an empty room. Having access to a media database, however, will fill up that room with people who can spread your message to the public.

Meltwater's Media Database helps you find the journalists within the Middle East who are writing about topics that are most relevant to your brand. You are able to build media lists and manage relationships by corresponding directly through the Meltwater platform to get the most out of tool. To add to this, your message gets delivered to audiences with credibility and authority.

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How to Use a Media Database in the Middle East

It's important to note that not all media databases will look the same or have the same list of journalists and influencers. Media databases tend to vary in size, locations, and available media channels. Meltwater's media database has an extensive list of global media contacts, the Middle East included, to provide PR professionals with the right contacts to help spread their message.

When you log into Meltwater's media database platform, you’ll see a search dashboard where you can begin your search and start building your media contact list. Make sure that you select the particular country in the Middle East that you are looking to target first, before building your search via beats or topic of interest.

screenshot of meltwater media database in Saudi Arabia

Then, you can search for journalists by "beats" or a topic of interest that the journalist specializes in. When you search for journalists like this, you essentially are able to find those journalists who primarily write about a certain topic e.g. Marketing and PR, Fashion and Beauty, or Information Technology. These journalists would be considered experts on the topic, and its very likely that their audience would listen to them on the particular topic.

You can also search for journalists by the outlet or specific publication that they write for. Perhaps you are looking to share information in a national publication such as the Khaleej Times, or something that is a little more niche, like Martech Vibe Middle East. Either way, you can search for journalists on Meltwater's platform by choosing the outlet or publication that you want your message to be spread in. From there, you can take a look at all the journalists listed for that specific publication, and find the right one for you.

Distributing to a Media Database in the Middle East

Getting proper media coverage will depend on getting your pitch right. Journalists receive a number of emails in their inboxes with varying media pitches; yours needs to stand out from the rest, and PR and communications professionals know just how much a tailored message will have a better chance of resonating with a targeted audience. If you want to learn more about pitching to journalists, read this blog post on How to Pitch Your Press Release to Journalists.

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A media database makes it quite easy to create multiple media lists that you can use for different types of pitches or having the same pitch shared differently in order to appeal to a more focused list of journalists. Just remember that segmenting your media lists into the niche topics that you are trying to cover will give you a better chance of getting media coverage. You always want to tailor your message so that it makes sense to your target audience, and the same applies to the journalists that you are trying to pitch to. So in essence, you want to craft unforgettable pitches that your media list will want to share almost immediately.

Meltwater makes it easy to distribute your pitches to the right journalists. After you have created your media list, you'll select "Outreach" to compose a new email to send to your selected media list. You can also create an "Outreach Template" so that you have a pre-existing email template to use every time you want to send a pitch to a particular media list, instead of creating one from scratch.

Here you can find more information about our Media Monitoring Solution in Arabic.

Craft your Middle East Media Database Today

Hopefully, this post has made using a media database a little less daunting, because at the end of the day, it is important to have one if you want to get your message out there through credible journalists and reporters. Without one, engaging in public relations and ensuring success for your PR campaigns might prove to be the real daunting task.

With Meltwater's extensive database, let our team help you get in touch with the right journalists for your brand.

Did you know? Meltwater's interface is now available in Arabic!