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What should I do when a client asks me for a media list?

In general, media lists are owned by the agency that creates them, and there is no obligation to share them. But exceptions can be made in some circumstances.

If you are asked for a media list, it's important to note that the agency owns its media lists and that as a general rule, we don't share them.

The media list is owned by the agency that creates it; that’s been the default standard in PR agency contracts for many years. Even if it's not explicitly in the contract, IP law sides with the agency in cases of this kind.

If the agency wants to waive its ownership rights and provide its list to the client, that’s the agency’s choice. Idea Grove generally does not provide media lists to clients, but we do make exceptions in some circumstances. We are more likely to share our lists in a longstanding client relationship where we are working together under a long-term contract.

PR agency owner Gini Dietrich speaks eloquently to the reasons for not giving away a media list, as well as the reasons for occasionally making exceptions.

Whether you are the client or agency, if this issue is important to you, it is generally negotiable at the contract stage. The client would have to request a specific contract provision in which the agency agrees to provide access or ownership to the client.