If your brand is looking to penetrate the African market, you must have found yourselves asking this question: How do I discover journalists in Africa?
This article will focus on several ways you can discover journalists in Africa, and how you can start and build a mutually rewarding relationship with them.
There are an estimated 40,000 practising journalists across Africa, comprising press designers, reporters, editors, radio and TV producers, etc.
If you are in brand marketing and communications, especially in Public Relations or media relations and often find it hard discovering journalists who are relevant to your brands to support marketing efforts, below are some of the ways you can discover journalists in Africa that are relevant to your brand.
1. Use Local PR Agency: Most local public relations agencies maintain a media directory that contains hundreds of journalists that they already maintain a relationship with. However, since PR agencies specialize in specific sectors, you may want to look for PR agencies that specialize in a sector that your brand operates in. For example, if you are a technology company, your best bet is to find PR agencies specializing in the technology sector. Since they work with journalists that cover the technology sector, you will then be able to piggyback on their media directory to discover journalists that are relevant to you.
2. Use Local News Publications: Another way to discover journalists in Africa is to identify the top news publications in your target market and follow up with them. If you keep up with them, you will be able to narrow down on the journalists covering the news beat focuses on your brand. If their contacts such as emails or phone numbers are published alongside their bylines – most do not – you will be able to write them introducing yourself or your brand. However, if, as in most cases their contacts are not published, you will then be able to look for these journalists on social media and follow them. It should get easier from here.
3. Search the Internet: You can use Google or other search engines to discover journalists in Africa by searching for the name of the media house or the journalist. Google could fetch related links to the media house or journalists or the LinkedIn profile of the organization or journalist and you would be able to contact them. Then, you have to have made your research about the target media house or journalists so that the search result will be relevant to your target.
4. Visit Local Journalists’ Union: In Africa, there are several associations of journalists. In Nigeria for instance, there is the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ. In fact, journalists covering specific news beats such as Technology, Brand, Banking & Finance, Politics, usually have an association and they usually have a meeting place, where they meet periodically. Therefore, one of the creative ways of discovering journalists in Africa is to visit these local branches of the union or the news beat associations and strike a partnership deal with them to provide coverage for your activities.
5. Use SquirrelPR Software: While the first four means of discovering journalists in Africa are cool, the smartest way to discover journalists in Africa is to use the SquirrelPR software, which allows you to discover journalists relevant to your brand. SquirrelPR boasts one of the largest media directories in Africa. You can meet journalists relevant to your brand there at a click of a button.
SquirrelPR already aggregates these journalists and arranges them according to the sectors they cover and countries that they practice. For instance, you want to look for journalists in South Africa, all you have to do is select the country of South Africa and select the sector you are looking to find the journalists that cover them and you will be able to discover all the journalists that write for that sector as well as their media houses.
What is more? You will be able to send them a regular message introducing yourself, pitch a story to them and even send them a press release or invite them to a press conference without leaving the SquirrelPR platform. Thousands of PR practitioners and media relations officers have found the software to be more effective, and convenient for discovering journalists in Africa.