In a cluttered, volatile news landscape, how can your business grab the attention of the media? By proactively staying ahead of the news cycle so you can leverage what’s trending to your advantage.
As a public relations pro, I’m constantly monitoring the news – scanning and also industry trades and general business news – for my clients to see where they can add value with expert insights, commentary or by submitting an Op Ed opinion piece. I also look to see where their competitors are being featured, and which news topics are picking up speed on platforms such as LinkedIn. That said, being in a 24/7 news cycle can make this challenging. So this strategy is more manageable and effective, I narrow my focus.
Working together with my clients, I identify the topics that are an organizational priority, such as company culture, technology specific to their business such as Agile, Appian, etc. Not only does this make my research more feasible, it also helps hone key messaging for future communications and media pitches so that it resonates with the right audience and is more memorable.
Here Are a Few Ways I Stay Ahead of the News
I like to set Google alerts for topics and themes to track news coverage. You can’t have eyes on every news outlet all the time, nor can you spend countless hours searching the web. This free tool is a time saving and effective way to keep you informed. You can set alerts for your organization’s name, specific search terms, such as attracting talent, as well as competitor, product, and brand names. To get more granular, you can also set filters for the results. I find that alerts are a great way to find unique content angles that catch the eye of the media.
Real time alerts about your brand, competitor, or topics of interest allow you to have a pulse on important developments and stay ahead of critical events. I subscribe to a few news alerts from sources that my client’s business depends on, regularly scanning the top stories and making note of the themes, sources quoted, and reporters names.
Twitter is the platform I use for having a pulse on hot news topics and conversations. I follow the feeds of major news outlets to monitor what’s breaking, as well as conduct searches using hashtags to see what people are saying in the areas that matter most to my clients.
To find out what key thought industry leaders are talking about, I turn to LinkedIn. As the largest professional network, it is the place to get inside the minds of those in the know. Following them helps me identify ways to differentiate my clients, as well as develop different viewpoints that may be of interest to the media. I follow industry influencers on the platform by going to their profile page and clicking on the bell icon on the top right. This way, whenever that company or individual posts an update, I’ll get a notification about it.
Leveraging the Intel
Armed with the info, it’s time to analyze and strategize. I am always culling through the information I gathered from my research to develop story angles around the topics that would capture a journalist’s attention. For example, I recently placed an article about mindfulness in the workplace for a client who’s a culture and engagement expert. In light of the tremendous coverage around The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, this was a newsworthy topic on which the CEO could provide a fresh perspective.
Staying ahead of the news takes foresight and research, but the results I get for my clients pays off tremendously.