The ultimate media checklist


In my many, many years (okay, I’m being dramatic - it’s been six) as a journalist and media consultant, I know one of the biggest hurdles people have to jump over when it comes to getting into the media is the thought of how much effort it’s all going to take. 

We all know that feeling - we know we need to spend more time working on our social media. We know we need to finally get around to starting that podcast. We understand what these assets could bring to our business, but the amount of work involved and knowing where to start with it can be utterly overwhelming. 

This is a biggie with people I’ve worked with in media consulting. They know they want to be a household name, an icon, but the thought of having to put in all the work - not just once but on a regular basis - to gain media attention feels like just one more thing that’s going to end up neglected at the bottom of a To Do list that’s starting to look suspiciously like a losing game of Jenga. 

That’s why when I first decided to start The Scoop, I knew straight away that I needed to include a checklist of media-related tasks you should be performing weekly to keep up your media game. 

For those who’ve done some media outreach before, you’ll probably know what most of the checklist means. If you’re totally new to this, don’t panic - today’s newsletter is all about breaking down each element. You’ll then gain a deeper understanding as the weeks go by and I deep dive into each in turn.

So the fundamental elements of the checklist, you’ll see right below. Below that, I’ve broken each one down so that you know what the hell I’m talking about. And just to remind you again: each of these topics will get its own dedicated newsletter over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Check the news within your niche

Keep on top of the trends, shifting moods or most recent news stories within your niche. Why? Because you want to know what the current conversation is so that you can offer your expert take. 

Brainstorm newsjacking opportunities

Newsjacking is when you take an existing story trending within the media and hijack it with your own take. When you’ve checked the news within your niche, brainstorm a few ways in which you could add a new perspective or further insight to the existing story with your expertise.  

Check for existing media request opportunities

There are certain corners of the internet and social media where journalists and editors are the ones putting in a request to you - reaching out to their audiences to point them in the direction of a case study or expert to feature in a piece they’re already working on. These opportunities are a great way to land quick media wins. 

Create one new story idea

Challenge yourself to create one new story idea every week, even if you don’t pitch it straight away.

Add a new journalist to your database

Find a new journalist that feels like a good fit to your expertise and add them into your journalist database (more on this later) including social handles, where they write for, what they cover and any personal titbits that are good to know (ie. are they avid marathon runners, butchers, bakers or candlestick makers? You get the gist). 

Interact with your current journalist picks on social media

You can’t interact with every single journalist on your database every single day. First of all, it’ll quickly become impossible once the list goes over around 10 people and secondly, it’s a bit creepy. That’s why I recommend choosing 5 (people you’re currently 

Share relevant media stories with your audiences

 Like anyone, journalists love to know they’re doing a good job so when you share their work with your audience in a meaningful way and tag them in it, they like it. It also helps to put you on their radar - something that’ll come in handy when you send that pitch - and strengthens your relationship with them. 

Contact journalists with newsjacking/ new pitch idea

 You should consider pitching at least once a week - not to every journalist on your list, but to those that are appropriate for either the newsjacking or standalone pitch ideas you have. Why? Well, the more you pitch, the better you’ll get at it and the more chance you have of generating media coverage. There’s a caveat to this, though - these pitches should be selective, targeted and well timed - something I’ll be teaching you how to nail.

Make any outstanding follow ups / next step emails with successful pitches

If you’ve already got some pitches in the works that you’re waiting to hear back from, send the necessary follow ups.

Ensure all assets are updated

 It’s important to do a health check each week on your website and socials to make sure everything is up to date. 

Altogether, this checklist shouldn’t be taking you longer than 90 minutes a week. If you can keep up this consistently, your media coverage will start racking up in no time.