Toolkit Tuesday: How to Build a Media List with CisionPoint Software

If you work in the PR field, you’re probably already familiar with CisionPoint. It’s perhaps the most popular research and contact management software for PR pros on the market, and for good reason. CisionPoint offers a very comprehensive database of media contacts, along with an incredibly robust and in-depth set of tools for managing media lists and campaigns.

CisionPoint software has varying subscription levels, of course offering more features and tools for higher-tier subscriptions. They can also design a custom package based on your needs. CisionPoint does not publish pricing information online, so it’s best to contact them for a quote.

What Does CisionPoint Have to Offer?

Here’s a brief overview of CisionPoint’s suite of tools, which can be grouped into four categories:

how to build a media list

  1. Plan – This is where you can research outlets, search for media members to pitch and build media lists for your campaign or client.
  2. Connect – Provides various ways to distribute your pitch or content. You can send a release over the wire, pitch via email and there are also content marketing tools to help drive traffic to your blog or website.
  3. Monitor – The place where you track all media coverage by setting up keyword alerts for your clients and/or campaigns.
  4. Analyze – These are the reporting tools, providing information and data on your campaigns and media hits.

Today, we’re just focusing on the Plan section, which includes CisionPoint’s full media database and everything you will need to start building media lists.

Download our Free Guide: 12 Steps for Crafting the Perfect Pitch

How to Build a Media List in CisionPoint

When a brand or company has a piece of news to share with the public, the job of the PR department or agency is to build a list of media outlets and contacts to pitch the story to. The first step in this process is to identify the media outlets, reporters, journalists, etc. who are:

  1. most likely to reach your target audience
  2. most likely to feature your story because it’s relevant to the topics they cover and their readership

CisionPoint’s massive database includes over 900,000 media members representing 450,000 outlets, including print, online and broadcast media ranging from regional to international. They offer several ways to build a list so you can create one that is highly targeted and specific to your campaign.

When you go to the search page, you have lots (and LOTS) of options. For starters, you can search by any of the following:

  • Contacts – individual reporters, journalists, editors and other media members
  • Outlets – including print, broadcast and online media
  • Opportunities – search editorial calendars, conferences and trade shows
  • Influencers – media members on Twitter, ranked according to level of influence

how to build a media list

When you search by Contacts or Outlets, you can further refine your search by type of media (print, broadcast, etc). You also have the option to narrow your search by geography and by topic.

After you generate a list, you can continue to refine by adding, removing or changing your filters at the top. You can also save your search to use again in the future by clicking the green floppy disk icon. Under your search parameters, you’ll see your list, complete with contact info, outlet details and social profiles.

how to build a media list

From here, you can save your list in CisionPoint or export it to Excel or CSV for when you’re ready to start pitching.

Want to see details about a specific outlet? Just click on their name in your list. You’ll be able to view information such as topics they cover, circulation and media members who work there. Click on Opportunities to view the editorial calendar, if one is available. You can also add notes about the outlet, and if it’s part of any of your saved lists, that info will show up in the “Lists” section.

how to build a media list

Similarly, you can view profiles of individual contacts. See the outlet(s) they write or report for, the topics they cover, their contact information and which of your lists they are on, if any.

how to build a media list

At any time, you can search for a Contact or Outlet by name using the “Quick Lookup” search bar at the top of the dashboard. You can also view all of your saved lists by clicking on “Lists and Searches” under the Plan drop-down menu.

how to build a media list

Any successful PR campaign starts with careful research and planning, and CisionPoint Software is an invaluable resource for getting this done efficiently. With their extensive database and search tools, you’ll be able to quickly build a targeted media list so you don’t waste precious time in getting your story out to the right people and places.

Do you use CisionPoint software? What are your favorite features or tools they offer? Do you have any other go-to resources for building media lists? Share your tips in the comments below – we love to hear them!

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Heather Allen

Director of Marketing and Development at Belle Communications
Heather oversees the development and implementation of Belle’s overall marketing strategy to clearly communicate the mission, culture and expertise of the company and team. She ensures that the vision and Core Belle-iefs are upheld within business development, marketing, processes and culture to support the agency’s continued growth and success. In her free time, Heather loves reading, trying new restaurants and hanging out at home with her husband and toddler.

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2 comments
Cision NA
Cision NA

Thanks for this great write-up!