While digital advancement has propelled the media guide into a new online format , Workshop President Thom Clark muses on how he still enjoys the print version of the guide when researching Chicago media…
Call me old-fashioned but when it comes to developing a new campaign for media outreach, I still love turning the pages of our annual media guide.
Oh, I love the convenience and speed of going online to look-up a contact phone number, or Googling a media personality to maybe find an email address or even some beat info.
But I still keep the “phone book” version of Getting On Air, Online and Into Print  close at hand, right on my physical desktop near the phone. It’s one of best browsing tools around. If I’m looking up a specific media outlet or contact, I never know when I might stumble across another reporter I hadn’t thought of unless I’d been browsing through the guide’s almost 300 pages of listings.
Plus the front section of the book has all the Workshop’s favorite communication planning worksheets, essays on the ever-shifting media landscape, sample media alerts, twitter handles, and specialty reporter lists by issue––resources you might be able to find with dedicated research, but we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you and put it all in one place!
As someone who always loved the unexpected tome that popped up while researching term papers through the library’s card catalog, I still find browsing the pages of our media guide creatively rewarding if not as efficient as some digital tools certainly are today. I’m always finding some new reporter I didn’t know about or a new media outlet I hadn’t heard of while looking up the cell number of a veteran editor.
And once you send that email or place that call, I still love putting pen or pencil to paper right in the book to write-up the encounter, jot down a new email, or make note of a new beat assignment. The updated info might make it into a spread sheet or database as well, but I still write all over my book, avoiding curled up post-its or a stack of pink message slips.
I may be old fashioned by choosing to use the print version of Getting On Air, Online & Into Print  rather than the digital version or other digital tools at our fingertips; but the paper media guide still serves as an affordable and appropriate technology for this nonprofit communicator.