Let’s say you’ve spent time building a relationship with a journalist you eventually want to pitch.
You know the importance of giving before you get. You’ve followed her on Twitterand retweeted several of her tips.
You want to do more research online and learn all you can about her. You also need her email address. But her Twitter profile doesn’t mention anything about email. How do you find this nugget of information? Here are seven of the best ways, which also work for anyone whose email address you can’t find:
1. Do a Google search.
This is often your quickest and best trick. Fictional example: Mary Edwards + Forbes columnist + email.
Sometimes you’ll see the email address peeking out from the description, just under the headline, in the organic search results. Other times, you’ll have to click on everything that Google returns to you.
2. At the media outlet’s website.
Websites for some of the bigger media outlets are a treasure trove of information, but I’m astonished at how many people never think to look here. USA Today’s Reporter Index has a lengthy list of reporters, some with links to profiles and contact information. Emily Bazar, who covers immigration, for example, invites “ideas” in the Comments section, so that’s a green light to pitch her. Read the excellent pitch in the Comments section from Lew Weinberg.
I’ve been very surprised to see detailed profiles, with juicy personal nuggets, even at websites for local TV stations. Here’s what I found when I looked for the News Team at WISN-TV, Channel 12, in Milwaukee, Wis., where I live. Most include email addresses. Important Note: Pay attention to personal details that might tie into your story idea and that you can weave into your pitch. See How to find the name of a journalist’s dog, cat or kid in 60 seconds.
3. In one of the big media directories.
The expensive media directories published by companies like Cision and Bacons usually have this information. But what if you don’t have $1,000 to spend on a directory? If you live near a big library, call the reference desk.
If you know somebody who works at a PR agency, call them and ask for a favor. Most agencies use these directories. You can also reach out to PR people who you follow on the social media sites. But contact them privately, through the site’s email or through their own private email address.
4. Call someone who the journalist interviewed.
When you do your Google search, you can find sources within their stories and call them. If you find someone who’s willing to give you the reporter’s email address, it never hurts to ask, “I’m curious. What kind of interviewer is Mary? Did she ask you any questions you didn’t expect?” Pay attention to what you hear, and remember this if Mary eventually interviews you.
5. At the journalist’s blog.
Finding the blog of a journalist who you want to pitch is like striking gold. Their email address might be included in their profile. Also look for whether the journalist responds to comments on the off chance you might find the email address there. See Journalists’ blogs offer valuable clues about how to pitch them.
You’ll find names, and usually contact information, for more than 1,300 journalists. Journalists who work for newspapers and magazines might freelance on the side.
7. Use more difficult advanced strategies that most people don’t know about.
Go to How to Find the Unfindable: 12 Ways to Find Anyone’s Personal Email Addreess. Some of these are much more time-consuming than the ones I’ve mentioned, but they work. It sounds as though writer Ken Lyons can find just about anybody.
Be ready for this question from a reporter: “That’s a private email address. How did you find it?” Tell her exactly what you did. Also tell her that if she’s trying to track down the email address for someone she wants to interview, she can use the same techniques you used. Share the valuable link in #7 above. This positions YOU as a valuable source for HER.
Am I wrong? What would you tell her? What other things have you done to find journalists’ email addresses? The Comments section awaits.
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