‘How do I find someone’s email address by name?’
That’s one of the questions we often get asked by people doing their own public relations.
Large PR agencies pay thousands for platforms that contain the contact details of journalists all over the globe.
But that can be too expensive for those doing their own PR without a massive budget.
Fortunately, there are some easy tricks and tips to help you to find exactly what you need for free.
Read on to discover eight simple ways to track down the journalist you want to contact.
And press release distribution services are expensive, so you need to take another approach.
In this blog, we’re going to show you exactly how to find someone’s email address for free by name.
Let’s get into it
1. Use A Search Engine To Find Email Address
This suggestion may seem obvious but don’t skip over the Google/Bing/Yahoo step.
You’ll be amazed how many email addresses you can find if you enter a person’s name and the words ‘email address’ or ‘contact details’ into a search engine.
If the answer doesn’t appear automatically, don’t give up straight away.
It can take a few attempts to hit the jackpot. You never know what you might find in ten minutes with a bit of digging.
Here are a few search strings to try if you are looking for, say, Han Solo…
Han Solo email – [firstname] [lastname] email
Han Solo contact- [firstname] [lastname] contact
Han Solo Gmail – [firstname] [lastname] Gmail
Han Solo Millennium Falcon email – [firstname] [lastname] [company] email/contact
Han Solo email site:milleniumfalcon.com – [firstname] [lastname] email/contact site:[domain.com]
2. Check Their Company Website
So, you’ve got your story and you need to find the right person to send it to.
You’ll find that most media outlets have their own dedicated website.
The website might be just for the publication, programme or radio station itself. Or it could be a website for the larger media organisation itself (for example, the BBC or Hearst Magazines or News Corp).
You may also discover that these dedicated outlet websites contain the contact details of the journalists, broadcasters or editors who work for them.
So, it’s well worth taking a look.
Remember, providing them with a great story that will interest their readers is the best way to help a reporter out.
Many media outlets publish the contact details for their staff so that it’s easy to give them those stories.
Look for those details on the ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Meet the Team’ pages of the organisation’s website.
Take a look at any blogs written on the site because the author’s email address may be included as part of the piece.
Don’t be tempted to send stories in via the Contact Form on a media outlet’s website.
This approach has almost zero chance of success.
3. Search On Social Media To Find Email Address By Name
One of the ways that journalists and broadcasters find case studies, experts and information is by putting a shout out on social media.
You’ll find plenty of journalists on Twitter sending out requests for all kinds of things using the hashtag #journorequest.
They want to make it easy for people to come back to them, so you’ll often find they include their email address in the request.
Another good place to find a person’s email address is on their social media bio.
Once again, there are a lot of reporters and broadcasters that include their email addresses on their Twitter profile.
Head over to LinkedIn and you may find direct contact details for the people you want to reach.
Just take a look in their summary section of their profile, as well as in the info section as sometimes people include their email addresses there.
It’s also worth looking on the social media pages for the publications themselves.
They may publish details of the journalists working for them, so it’s a good idea to double-check.
Don’t send a press release or media relations pitch to a journalist directly through any social media platform.
It doesn’t look professional and, unless the story is unmissable, they probably won’t respond.
4. Use Some Clever Guesswork To Find Someone’s Email Address
This may sound like a crazy suggestion, but it’s very logical.
You’ll find that most organisations have a standard format for the email addresses in their company.
Media outlets are no different.
Even if you can’t find the exact email address for the journalist that you want to reach, you can take an educated guess.
The first thing you need to do is to discover the email format for that organisation.
This means finding any email address in the company and then applying the name of your reporter.
So, if you discover that the format for a company is email@example.com, you can apply it to the person you want to find.
When you’ve applied this formula, google the address that you’ve guessed. You may discover that it’ll come up and confirm your guess is right.
Be careful, though.
There are a few instances when this smart approach can fall apart. For example, if there’s more than one person at the company with the same first name and last name.
Another problem could be if the format for emails is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some companies do this and then assign numbers or words to differentiate between the different people with the same name.
Hopefully, though, you’ll get lucky and track down the journalist you want to reach.
5. Call The Media Outlet To Find Someone’s Email Address For Free
Remember the old saying, ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’?
One technique to find someone’s email address by name for free is to phone the media outlet.
However, you don’t merely ring up ask them to hand out the journalist’s email address.
What you need to do is be ready with your best guess address and ask them to confirm if you’ve got it correct.
The exchange should go like this:
Media Outlet Representative: “Good Morning, the New York Times, how can I direct your call?
You: Good Morning, my name is XXX XXX, and I wondered if you could help me check an email address?
MOR: OK, what address do you have?
You: I want to connect with Natalie James on the Culture Desk. The address I have is email@example.com. Is that correct?
MOR: Let me check for you.
You: Thanks so much.
MOR: Yes, that’s the right address.
The best address to reach Natalie on is firstname.lastname@example.org
You: That’s great. Thanks for your help. I’ll email Natalie now.
It won’t always work, but it’s certainly worth a try.
Our top tip is to be as polite and pleasant as possible to give the person on the other end of your call every reason to want to help you.
Good public relations is all about excellent communication. Being courteous and having lovely manners are very helpful when you are working in this area.
6. Use This Gmail Hack To Find Someone’s Email
There’s a useful trick you should know that can be found in Gmail.
If you have a Gmail account, you can often verify whether an address is correct by using this nifty trick.
Open up a new message box by hitting the ‘Compose’ button on the left-hand side of your screen.
In the ‘To’ field, type in the email address that you have guessed for the journalist you’d like to find.
If you hover over the address, often a picture and contact details will appear. Just like this.
So, anybody looking for advice on how to write a PR plan or guidance for their next public relations campaign would automatically know that they would be able to reach me, Gemma Clay, because Gmail has confirmed my details.
It’s well worth trying for the reporters you want to put your story in front of.
7. Look For Their Personal Website Or Blog Email Contact Details
Creating a personal brand is now a standard technique for journalists trying to make a name for themselves.
It’s not enough to just be affiliated with a media outlet – particularly when contracts can end abruptly.
You’ll find a lot of journalists also set up their own websites and blogs where they publish their work and create a personal portfolio of content.
This is excellent news for people who want to get press releases containing great stories in front of journalists.
When you find a journalist’s personal website, go straight to the contact details.
Hopefully, they will have published a personal email address where you can reach them.
If they haven’t, there may be a contact form on the website.
In this instance, it’s appropriate to send a message via the contact form as it’s likely that it will hit the journalist’s personal email address inbox.
Remember, every time you put a press release together to send to a media outlet or a specific reporter, you must have an attention-grabbing headline.
If you don’t, the story is going to be passed over before they’ve even opened your email.
8. Try Some Free Email Lookup Tools
The most important thing you need to know about lookup tools is that you are only going to get a certain number of chances to search before they make you pay for the platform.
So, it’s probably a good idea to have exhausted many other options before you use one.
That said, lookup tools can be incredibly useful if you are searching for a specific email address.
So, use them wisely and you may get the results you are looking for.
Here’s a look at a few different lookup tools that let you find an email address for free by name.
Once you know the media outlet that the reporter you are trying to reach works at, Hunter becomes a powerful tool.
Simply enter the company domain into their search bar and Hunter will return with a list of every email address associated with that domain.
You can use it for free to do 100 searches every month. So, it’s a great option for professionals trying to do free PR for their companies.
If you’re doing a lot of these searches the paid-for tool offers great value.
The team at Voila Norbet insist they can find anyone’s corporate email – even those of the most influential people in the world.
That’s a bold claim, but you don’t have to pay to find out if Voila Norbet is right or not.
Create an account with them and you’ll get 50 searches for free.
Take care to read through the site and pay attention to some of the pitfalls they outline to get the best results.
Want 50 free searches a month on the ‘Yellow Pages of Email’? You need to head over to Find That.
Visit their site, and you’ll discover that Find That enables its users to find relevant press contacts or to do an email verifier to check the address you have.
You can use their search by typing in the name of your reporter and the company they work for in the ‘search now’ box.
These three platforms are just a selection to get you started.
There are tons of platforms out there offering a similar service.
With so many free searches on offer, it’s an excellent strategy for finding the email address you are trying to track down.
Now It’s Your Turn To Find Someone’s Email Address
You now have eight different ways that you can use to find someone’s email address for free by name.
Each one of our approaches is simple, free and an excellent strategy for getting that all-important contact detail.
Don’t forget to keep an email list of all the press contacts you manage to find. Hopefully, you’ll have lots of great stories to send out to reporters.
Good luck! Let us know how you get on.
And if you’re ready to take your PR work to the next level grab our PR Starter Kit.
Our must-have kit has every template, script, strategy and guide you’ll ever need to do PR – all in one place.