The MEDIA PROS Show
32. How to find journalists’ email addresses for your media pitches
Much of the media system I teach the clients I work with one-on-one, and I will teach you as a listener of this show, is how to get interviews by pitching a topic to a reporter, writer, show host or producer.
You can't just sit back and expect people to reach out to you. They need to know you, know what you are an expert in, and know how you can help them.
We have talked before about creating a pitch file or notebook to collect ideas to pitch reporters and producers. We have talked about how you can find out who to pitch. We have talked a little bit about how to pitch. But once you have the topic, and once you have written your pitch email, you have to actually send it. That's when you have to find that person’s email address so you can send that pitch.
Where can you get that email? Sometimes it's very easy, and sometimes you have to do a little work. But with almost every media member, you can find their email address to pitch them.
Bios on their work website
The first place to start is the newspaper, magazine, TV network, radio network, podcast website, or online publication site. Go to their bio, and very often their email address will be at the end of it. If you are looking for a reporter, journalist or writer, you can click to read one of their articles. Then click on their name in the byline or the article. It will usually take you to their bio or their list of recent articles. Very often their email address is in there somewhere.
Their personal websites
Personal websites are a great way to find email addresses, especially for writers - and freelance writers. Often, they collect the articles they write and post them on their personal websites as sort of a portfolio or resume for future work. There will almost certainly be a contact form or a mention of their email address. Yes, this is more of a personal email address than one at that media outlet, but you can apologize in your pitch email for contacting them here. They will understand and give you a better email to use for future pitches.
People in the media very often post their email addresses in their Twitter bios. Producers, writers, and reporters often love hearing ideas for stories. Putting their email address where people who care about the news is a great way to attract those ideas.
Look in their bios. The address might not be something you can copy and paste, though. It might say jsmith and have a space and the word "at" instead of the @ symbol, then another space, then the domain, like gmail, then a space, then the word "dot" instead of the actual dot, then com. They don't want spam bots to fill their email, and that's a good way to do it.
LinkedIn is another great place to find email addresses. Find that person in LinkedIn. Then there should be a box to click to see how to contact them. For many people, they will list a personal or work website, and maybe some other social media accounts. But I've found many people in the media will put their email addresses here as well.
Now you can send an InMail message to them through LinkedIn, but I wouldn't start with that. Use that as a last resort. If you do that, make sure to apologize and ask if there is a better email where you can send a quick pitch.
Many people don't like being pitched by people they don't know yet through LinkedIn, so I wouldn't recommend doing that right off the bat. But if you do find their email, and you do pitch them and get an interview, yes, add them as a connection on LinkedIn.
You can figure it out based on email addresses of other people at that network or publication.
Finally, this is the method that seems to work the best, and yet, very few people try it.
Usually on the publication or network's website, there will be an email address or two for a host or writer or producer.