Checking out your competition’s website is a good place to start building your own media list.

It’s often referred to as the ‘follow the leader’ technique and is a great way to figure out which publications you should appear in.

You can do this in one of two ways.

First, simply go to their website and check out their ‘press’ or ‘media’ page which will include a list of media appearances.

Secondly, Google their name and choose the ‘news’ tab at the top of the page. You should get a list of online publications and podcasts featuring their brand.

Note down where they’ve appeared, the headline or topic, date and the journalist’s name.

The headlines and topics give you food for thought as to how a journalist my cover your brand which can be eye opening and probably different to what you would expect.

The date tells you how recently they’ve covered the story. If it’s within the last week or so they probably won’t cover something similar, but they may be interested in insight or a fresh perspective that moves the story on. If it’s been more than 6 months, then they may still be interested in writing about the topic but maybe with a different angle.

Let’s take an example.

At the minute I’m obsessed with the ‘Too good to go’ app. It’s a free app that connects customers to local cafes, restaurants, shops and supermarkets that have unsold food surplus. 

Looking at their media mentions, they appear quite a lot in the retail trade journals like Talking Retail and The Grocer.

But they’re also featured in the local and regional media like Blackpool Gazette. Regional media has fantastic reach. Stories there include how a local “Shopper goes to Waitrose and gets £47 worth of shopping for a fiver” and “How I saved £6 on fruit & veg at Morrisons”.

The media love those kinds of stories because their readers love them.

The brand also appears in the national papers online – Daily Mirror, Express, Daily Mail, etc. – focused on how people are saving a fortune on food “and how you can too”.

I can also see that they use an influencer strategy as part of their PR by getting people on social media to use the app and review the service. These stories are then pitched to major media sites where there is a huge interest on reading about people’s experiences of how to save a fortune on food.

So if I was working with a company in a similar area, I’d use this search to create a quick and dirty media list which would include trade journals, consumer media sites, sustainability titles, national newspapers, magazines as a starter for 10.

But I’d also use it to create an outline PR plan which would include an influencer strategy of well-known lifestyle and food bloggers who could try out the app and review it live on their socials. If the stories were strong enough, we could pitch them to journalists at the nationals who are interested in ‘money-saving’ articles.

All of that from simply Googling your competition. Give it a go!