Here’s a handy worksheet to help you to identify your priorities

 

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On the classic television show M*A*S*H, whenever incoming wounded troops flooded the hospital area, the nurses and doctors created a triage unit that sorted the soldiers into categories: those soldiers that were beyond help, those soldiers who could manage on their own until the doctors were available, and those soldiers they could save if they acted immediately. The doctors operated on the ones that seemed most likely to live, taking the critical patients first. The doctors understood the need to devote their most valuable resources to the most likely prospects, and to prioritize their efforts.

A similar philosophy should be used when working with the media. All reporters are not created equal. For your particular product, some publications are more important than others. Some can help you bring your product to life, while others can’t help you at all. Because you have a limited amount of time and resources to send review materials, make appointments and visit editors, you have to set priorities.

One way to do this is to divide your press targets into three tiers. The “A” list consists of the reporters who really matter for your product. The “B” list is comprised of reporters you should talk to. The “C” list includes reporters who are at the periphery of your needs. If your resources are short and you can only send a limited number of samples of your product, you will find this “A-B-C” list very helpful in determining who should get top priority. Also, by setting up this list in advance, you can easily determine which reporters to call first when arranging interviews and demos. This can be vitally important for a trade show, where time is limited, but nearly everyone in the press will be in attendance. (See Section II for more information on publicity at trade shows.) Spend your money and energy on the “A” list first, then go on to the “B” list as a backup. When you need to fill in the gaps, use the “C” list.

The priority each reporter / publication merits depends on the product you are promoting. Read through one of the media reference sources or hire a PR specialist or analyst in this area to help you select your key publications. Your advertising agency may be able to help as well.

Template to Use:
Worksheet – Media Contacts

This worksheet will allow you to identify and rank your press contacts. Write the name of the publication, the reporter who covers the product, their phone number and their priority (A, B, or C). If you identify 5 “A” list publications, that’s fine. Every product is different. The important factor is for you to start doing this mental prioritizing exercise _ it will save you time later. This list will also come in handy when you need to delegate assignments.

The key press contacts for my product are:
Industry Press Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Business Press / Local Press Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Retail Press Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Consumer / General Press Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Television / Radio Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Syndicated Columnists Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Analysts / Opinion Leaders Reporter Telephone Priority
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.