As PR professionals, we’re glued to the news. We’re hungry to stay updated on the latest trends and breaking stories, never knowing where that next campaign idea or pitch angle will come from. Sure, we stay in-the-know on PR, marketing and mobile/social industry news, as well as our clients’ industries, but there’s also a need to know what’s happening outside of these worlds. We’re better counselors for our clients when we know a bit across many topic areas.
We all stay up-to-date on our social media streams and subscribe to our favorite newsletters and blogs, but it’s a big world out there. Trades, podcasts, dailies, daytime TV, the myriad cable network shows – it’s nearly impossible to consume it all. What’s a dedicated PR professional to do? How to absorb all that news and TV when we’re…well, at the office?
Here are six secret weapons to increase our news absorption and truly read, watch or listen to all of the talented journalists and influencers we’re working with on a regular basis:
- Texture – Maybe you already have a pile of monthly print subscriptions that you regularly devour – but there are hundreds of outlets out there and it is our job to know how to approach and work with them all. Enter the Texture app, where you gain full access to magazines across business, entertainment, food, sports, and many more categories. Flipping through magazines that you don’t normally read can help you discover a new journalist to build a relationship with, inspire a client campaign or spark brainstorm ideas.
- Feedly – Follow hundreds of blogs and news sites all organized neatly within categories that you create for your account. Feedly works by adding RSS feeds but then presents the content in a scrollable format with headlines and photos. This allows you to glance quickly at headlines or read more in-depth. Make this your browser’s homepage and you’ll automatically update yourself on your favorite influencers several times a day.
- Flipboard – A social-network and news app that aggregates data across topics of your choosing, Flipboard makes it easy to catch up on everything from cooking articles to breaking news. An essential tool for PR professionals to stay on top of it all.
- Pocket – Now that you’ve discovered all this new content, when will you have time to read it? Pocket is an amazing app that allows you to bookmark websites and news articles and read them later through the app – even when you can’t connect to WiFi. For those subway commuters out there, this is a great way to keep updated on that day’s news. Bonus: there’s a Google Chrome extension to make it easy to “pocket” the article for later for when you don’t have time at work.
- Google Alerts – You already use Google Alerts to stay on top of client and competitor news – but are you utilizing them to the fullest extent? Try adding general topics, upcoming holidays/events, journalists you work with or anything else you want to track and never miss an important update. By adding hot topics or trending terms to your Google Alerts, you’ll be able to spark your creativity in new and challenging ways.
- Your DVR/On Demand/Streaming Services – Before we can pitch daytime shows or the late night comedy shows, we have to know what they’re talking about, who goes on and the types of segments they regularly produce. It can be hard to keep up with Kelly and Michael while at work (The struggle is real!) or TODAY if you need to leave for work by 7AM. Use your DVR to record a few new shows a month and check them out when at home. Your clients will thank you, and you might pick up a new show to DVR regularly!
These are only a small sampling of the many apps and methods out there. What are your favorite ways of consuming media? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Senior Account Manager