By Rob Nellis
It’s a busy Monday morning and opening up your email you see a new assignment, “find ___ amount of bloggers/media contacts/publications who talk about ___”. Sometimes, this can go smoothly. Other times however, it can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Researching requires creativity and persistence. Here are some of the many ways to dig for info:
Be creative, use all your resources
Even though the internet is a massive place, there are plenty of resources to narrow down your search options. Linkedin, Twitter, CisionPoint and others are all great places to start finding outlets and people. However, finding specific people is often a challenge. If you’re looking for the digital media manager for example, they can go by many titles. “Digital Media Director,” “Executive in Charge of Digital,” or my favorite and most vague job title, “Digital.” People in the PR field love to be creative, so get in the mind frame and think of all the different synonyms of what you are looking for.
Google is your best friend
While many resources are good starting places, when it comes to search engines, Google is pretty much the golden standard. It searches for exactly what you ask it to. If you need to find mommy bloggers in San Francisco, just searching for “San Francisco Mommy Bloggers” can give some great results. I recently had an assignment to find beer bloggers in the Bay Area. I googled “Bay Area Beer Bloggers” and what shows up? A site dedicated to beer bloggers in the bay area with 50 plus links. Jackpot! (Most of the links were outdated, but that’s another story.)
Be persistent, good info is sometimes in the deep end of the search pool
Dive in the deep end, go down the rabbit hole, or look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Whatever cliché term you can think of is true when it comes to research. Some of the best information is hidden like a lost treasure. Once, I needed to find the social media manager for a small sized company. Google, Linkedin and other sources found nothing, so here’s what I did: I found the companies’ Twitter account and looked at every single follower. Yes, every single one. Finally, I found the person I was looking for. Research is all about persistency. The web is a huge place, so finding quality information takes time, but quality research pays off in the end.