I've arranged some press briefings for a visiting executive and I'm asked to supply the following: who each journalist writes for, copies of their last three published articles, a list of their hot topics, bugbears and some personal notes (favourite food, sports etc).
The exercise requires you to imagine finding this out without the internet (it barely functioned back then). It wasn't easy.
Today, PR people can read journalists online (publications and blogs), follow them on twitter and friend them on Facebook. This makes the task so much easier – except that the media landscape is much larger and more fluid than in the past. Who's a journalist? What's a publication?
So you can do it yourself, or you can be grateful that someone else has pulled together much of the data. Take a look at the Media Standards Trust's Journalisted site. Once you struggle past the poor search facility, it's a mine of information including social media features such as a tag cloud of frequently mentioned terms.
Just one concern. Did the difficulty of media relations in the dark ages make us more respectful of and knowledgeable about the media? Because now that it's so easy, why is there so much bad media relations?