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Here’s what you need to know about staying in the know

Because we work in PR, we’re really expected to know everything about everything. But let’s face it, while we can sometimes convince ourselves we really do know it all, that’s just not the case nor will it ever be. There’s just so much going on in our world at every single moment it’s nearly impossible to keep up in real time.

In our industry, it’s actually very important that we’re in tune with the headlines, especially when it comes to topics such as the economy, wage and labor laws, unemployment rates, and other issues that can have an impact on the companies we represent and the various industries we’re connected to. Some of the best pitch ideas come from a timely trend or significant event, then making a connection to our client in a meaningful way.

News breaks with pretty much every breathe we take so how do we keep up with it all and sift through the clutter to find what’s really important? And how do we do this without eating up hours out of our days? Here are a few ideas to help keep you sharp and in the know:

Morning News

Think about waking up a little earlier in the morning, even just 30 minutes. Instead of rushing to get ready and get out, give yourself time to have a more leisurely start to your day. Turn on the Today Show, Good Morning America or a program of your choice, and go about your routine. You’ll pick up a headline or two before getting into the office.

Daily Newsletters

Sure, you can learn a whole lot by surfing the web but do you really have all that time to spare smack dab in the middle of your day? I’m guessing you don’t. So find a few daily newsletters that give a good overview and quick snippets of what’s going on in the world. I recommend The Daily Skimm, The Broadsheet and The Daily Beast.

Google Alerts

You might be looking for real time updates on a certain subject. If that’s the case, Google Alerts will be become your new best friend. They do the hard part for you. Just put in a keyword, name, brand, etc., and you’ll receive emails with links to news articles as they happen, covering whatever it is your monitoring for.

Social Media

We’re in an age of new media and Facebook is front and center. There have been many times when I’ve seen big breaking headlines through a post from a friend before I see it on TV or a news website. The platform has made news accessible to anyone at any time. Chances are, you look at your phone within minutes of waking up. May as well do a quick sweep of Facebook for breaking stories while it’s already in your hand.