How Do I Find a Journalist Looking for Stories?
To help you navigate the world of journalism and find the right journalist for your story, we’ve gathered insights from ten industry professionals, ranging from PR representatives to content marketing specialists. They’ve shared their top tips, from making direct contact with relevant sources to discovering journalists on Substack. Dive into these valuable insights to enhance your approach.
- Make Direct Contact with Relevant Sources
- Utilize Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
- Explore Hashtags for Journalist Requests
- Visit News Agency Websites for Contacts
- Network at Industry-Specific Events
- Conduct Advanced Searches on X
- Use Help a B2B Writer Platform
- Engage on Social Media and Online Forums
- Maintain a Website or Blog
- Discover Journalists on Substack
Make Direct Contact with Relevant Sources
The most tried-and-true method of finding a journalist to cover your story is to do your research and go directly to the source.
For example, if I have a story that is relevant to business news in a specific state, region, or city, I visit the specific local publications and scroll through to see who the right reporters and editors would be to contact. It usually takes just a few minutes to get the right person; it also gives you a chance to look at their most recent articles and see if the topics they write about are the most relevant to yours.
Utilize Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
One effective way to find journalists looking for stories is through Help a Reporter Out (HARO). This popular and free media-request service connects sources with journalists by sending three daily emails filled with journalist requests. From small blogs to national newspapers and TV stations, HARO caters to various platforms seeking diverse content.
Each request outlines the topic, deadline, and media outlet, covering a broad spectrum of subjects, from gift guides to expert opinions. Utilizing HARO is a fantastic resource for small businesses, startups, and self-employed professionals who seek media opportunities but lack the time to search for journalist requests manually.
Explore Hashtags for Journalist Requests
Twitter is a gold mine for journalists’ requests for sources. By searching for #PRRequests and #JournoRequests, you’ll find the stories where journalists are looking for sources. Not only is this a great way to find PR opportunities, but it also lets you stay on top of up-and-coming stories in your industry, which is the cornerstone of proactive PR campaigns. By following journalists in your niche, you’ll be quick to jump on opportunities.
Visit News Agency Websites for Contacts
If you are looking for a journalist for a story, the easiest way to do so is by visiting the website of a news agency. If it’s a local story, you can search the local news platform. Websites have the names and contact information of the journalists who cover stories for them. If that information is not available, there is contact information for the news agency.
You can contact them to have them link you with a journalist who is looking for stories at their office. They will connect you to them. It’s a digital world, and finding people in the media is not hard anymore.
Network at Industry-Specific Events
Attending industry-specific events and conferences offers a valuable opportunity to connect with journalists pursuing story ideas. These events frequently feature press panels or media sessions where journalists actively express their interests. Engage in meaningful talks during networking gatherings, focusing on creating relationships rather than quickly pitching your story.
By exhibiting your knowledge and enthusiasm for the sector, you may establish yourself as a trustworthy source for journalists looking for new perspectives and insights.
Conduct Advanced Searches on X
Using X (formerly known as Twitter) is one of the best and quickest ways to find relevant journalists in your niche. Start basic research on X by typing related keywords or hashtags that are currently trending in your industry. The best feature is the advanced search operators. Type in your keyword and click on “Advanced Search” to get more filters to add to your research.
For example, if you’re looking for tweets from a specific date, use the search operator: [“your topic name” until:year-month-date since:year-month-date]. Likewise, use the “mentions:” operator to find journalists who have mentioned a specific person or organization in their tweets. The last step is to create a list on the platform to stay organized and track your outreach.
Use Help a B2B Writer Platform
One way to find journalists looking for stories is through the Help a B2B Writer website.
This free, user-friendly, intuitive platform provides many opportunities to share insights. Journalists submit their requests for articles they’re working on, and users receive an email notification with more details. Notably, the name and surname of the person are visible. Using the platform helps build relationships with journalists and expand professional networks.
One benefit of using Help a B2B Writer is that the only requests seen are those matching the criteria selected in the settings. It saves time, energy, and mailbox space.
Engage on Social Media and Online Forums
The most effective method to find a journalist looking for stories is by exploring various social media and online networking platforms. Journalists often use social media stations, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, to connect with audiences.
You can start by following journalists who cover topics relevant to your story idea. Engaging with their content by liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts can also increase visibility. Additionally, you can join online groups or forums related to journalism, media, or specific topics of interest. Here, journalists may actively participate in discussions or express their interests, presenting an opportunity for you to pitch your story idea.
Maintain a Website or Blog
In my opinion, you should keep a website or blog where you can demonstrate your mastery of your subject matter. Producing high-quality content regularly establishes you as a reliable source for reporters.
Include an “In the News” section to highlight your past media coverage, and optimize your content with pertinent keywords to make it discoverable by journalists using search engines. Journalists looking for new perspectives can be attracted to podcasts and webinars if you offer to be a guest on them.
Discover Journalists on Substack
Substack is a platform primarily used by writers, editors, and journalists to run newsletters and build an audience. These newsletters are run by people who handle consistently publishing fresh stories.
To find them, go to the Substack website (substack.com), and there will be an option to discover newsletters by topics such as technology, politics, finance, etc. Choose your preferred content topics to find the list of all the newsletters. The best part is that you can check the author and editors of each newsletter along with their social media profiles. This makes it easy to find the contact details of journalists in your preferred topic.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What’s one way to find a journalist looking for stories?”