Be a news junkie!
To put it bluntly, if you’re in media relations, which comprises a majority of the work we do at Newton O’Neill Communications, it’s imperative that you stay on top of the news. More importantly, you need to be familiar with the stories/content your media contacts cover.
There’s an ever-expanding world of news and information out there, so before your head explodes, know that I’m referring to the news in the industry(ies) in which your client exists. That, and it’s highly recommended to keep up with your local news unless your media relations is focused in a totally different market(s).
That said, I always advise a diverse source of news, bloggers and social media sources. Relying too heavily on a select few sources will bite you every time, and you’re doing your clients no favor. It’s also important to mix the consumption of local, national, industry and pop culture news. PR folks need to be informed and creative. Taking a news trend in one category and applying it to your client’s work in a separate category can lead to a brilliant idea for a bylined article, community event, new product/service or special promotion.
Regardless, keeping up with the news of the day is no easy feat so it helps tremendously if you LIKE the industry you’re promoting.
Below are a few ideas to streamline your news absorption. Disclaimer: I haven’t tried them all.
· Subscribe to newsletters of the top publications or bloggers in the industry you’re covering
· Set up RSS feeds from top news sites.
· Set up subscription with keywords to a news aggregator of choice such as Reddit or Digg
· Social media feeds and searching by hashtags
· Set Google alerts for keywords related to your client and client’s industry
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