A good media database removes the blindfold so that you can hit your target every time.

PR professionals know that the first step (and half of the battle) to a successful pitch or press release is finding the right journalist. The Meltwater News media database has two ways to identify journalists: the more targeted keyword search (click here for my post on the media database keyword search) and the journalist directory. The directory is the traditional way of identifying journalists in a media database, including a name search and filters by beat, geography, publication, role, etc. Meltwater’s media database allows you to filter using one or several of these criteria to narrow down relevant journalists.

The journalist directory plays a central role in several types of PR campaigns and has ad hoc uses that aid your daily PR to-dos. Below I’ve put together a media database how-to that covers three of the most common PR use cases and how to quickly find the best contacts using the Meltwater News suite.

Geographic Targeting | Media Database Use Case #1

Your organization is hosting an event in a city where you don’t have established media relationships. You’re tasked with promoting the event both locally and nationally to generate press interest and drive attendance.

  • Select a geography

The “Location” filter is on the bottom left of the directory page. You have the option to enter a zip or postal code, a city and state/region, or to select a designated market area (DMA). By clicking the blue plus sign next to zip or state/region you can include multiple geographies in your search. For the most accuracy, use the DMA to capture major outlets and journalists in a city and its surrounding area.

  • Select a beat

The “Beat” filter is on the right side of the directory page. It includes more than 50 top-level beats and more than 1,000 specific sub-beats. Used in conjunction with the geographic filter, the beats will give you an even more qualified list of journalists to target to ensure that your event is a success.

Publication Targeting | Media Database Use Case #2

Your company is launching a new product and wants coverage in specific publications. You know of a handful of publications, but need to find the perfect journalist to pitch and you want to find a few more publications to coincide with a broader wire release on the product launch.

  • Find journalists at known publications

Click on the “Outlet” button in the top left of the “directory” page to search for publications instead of journalists. Just below is the “Outlet Info” filter. To find journalists within a single publication, type in its name and click “Filter” in the top or bottom right of the page. You can also add multiple publications by using the blue plus sign next to the “Name” box.

  • Discover new industry-specific publications

First, make sure that “Outlet” is selected in the top left of the page. To find publications specific to an industry, select the beat or beats that represent the industry. For a more targeted list of publications, use the “Outlet Info” filter in the top left of the page to designate circulation, frequency (daily, weekly, etc.), or medium (magazine, newspaper, radio, etc.). You can also specify a geography in the “Location” filter just below.

Ad hoc Journalist Research | Media Database Use Case #3

Your phone rings and it’s a journalist who’s interested in writing a piece about your company. You aren’t familiar with them and need to quickly judge if they’re a good fit for your organization.

  • Find a journalist by name

With “Journalist” selected in the top left of the page, type the journalist’s name into the “Journalist Info” filter just below. Click on the blue plus sign to add several journalists before clicking “Filter.” Meltwater’s media database takes this journalist research a step further as well! When you find the correct journalist in the results list, click on their name to go to their contact card. On the contact card you’ll find their most recently written articles as well as additional information including pitching tips, awards, schooling and interests.

These three use cases represent a few of the times when a journalist directory within a media database is useful. Meltwater’s media database combines the directory with an even more targeted keyword-driven search to give your campaign the best chance of success. If finding the right journalist is half the battle, a robust media database with targeted searching is the secret weapon that will let you spend more time pitching and less time searching.