This is a huge time-saver because once you know which reporter you should be pitching, you don’t have to search for articles they’ve written. Once advantage to Googling them, however, might be that you learn that a particular reporter writes a blog, either for business or pleasure.
Reading the blog—and posting a comment—is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to the reporter. You can learn more about this on “How to Pitch the Best Bloggers & Create a Publicity Explosion” which I created with Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff, aka The Blog Squad.
One word of caution before using the USA Today list of reporters: If you’re pitching a reporter on the list, it might be a good idea to call the newspaper and make sure they still cover a particular beat. Those staff lists aren’t always up-to-the-minute accurate.