Sharing media lists with clients.

One topic that I’ve seen discussed on PR forums repeatedly is whether or not you should share the media lists you develop for an account with your client.

For me, that’s been a moot point. In the past 25 years I’ve had clients ask me for their media lists a grand total of . . . never. If they wanted it, though, I would gladly hand it over. Why not? They paid for it. After all, it’s just a list. Anyone with a subscription to Bacon’s, Vocus, or MediaPro can create a list; there’s not a lot of magic there.

Many of the practitioners who say they would not hand over a list (and there are plenty) seem to feel justified because their contacts are “private”. I don’t buy that. What the client cannot do is immediately recreate your relationship with the journalists and editors that you have nurtured over time. A list, or a contact at a publication, does not guarantee a result. I hope that my clients hire me because of my ability to successfully place articles on the topics that are most important to them in the publications that reach the right audience.

I think that folks who don’t want to share their lists are worried that the client will take that information and try to “wing it” on their own. If that’s the case, they have a larger problem because their client does not perceive that they are adding value. In that situation, often the best choice is to hand over the list and move on!

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