Whether you practice consumer, B2B or tech PR, you must know your stuff – particularly the news – to excel at your job. But not all news outlets are equally helpful.
A recent survey concluded that NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets, while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge. In this post, we provide a stellar list of online, offline and broadcast outlets to keep you informed, help spark creative PR ideas and pitch relevant company spokespeople.
PRs love the Skimm. If you haven’t the time to read anything else, read the Skimm, which gives a topline of the hottest stories and the language to discuss them as if you know more than you do. This can be helpful when looking for ways to tie your company to a newsworthy topic.
OZY. If you have a little more time, as well as an insatiable curiosity for what just happened and why, and where the story might go next, try OZY. Chances are it’s excellent research into a whole slew of topics that can lead to story ideas and insights when developing a PR story angle strategy.
PR and NPR. As the survey pointed out, National Public Radio offers the most pure information, and in addition to news, it has a plethora of podcasts that slice and dice everything from tech to TV and film. If you’re stymied and stuck creatively, use these “portable” sources to free up your brain and produce some valuable PR ideas while you’re walking to the bank or doing laundry.
“The Nightly Show”. Or the new “Daily Show” or anything on Comedy Central will keep you on top of politics and pop culture – two areas where PR pros should be well-versed.
The Post. If you thought The Washington Post, you’re not a New Yorker. Of course, you’re curating from WaPo and you read The New York Times, but The New York Post is much more fun. It has memorable headlines and Page 6, which is sure to include an icebreaker for conversation with just about anyone. The rest is up to you!
WSJ Personal Journal. No list of must-reads would be complete without The Wall Street Journal – but in the typical crazy busy PR day, make time for the WSJ lifestyle section – it is so much more, often containing top tech gear and gadgets, food fads and fitness fodder, making it a terrific outlet for “soft” business and professional trend stories.
Talk shows. Viewership may be on the decline, particularly with millennials, but changes like Stephen Colbert’s move to “The Late Show” and other rotating hosts means it will always be a bastion of news and pop culture and a holy grail for PR pitching. If we had to pick one, well we can’t. So try to catch up with a few.
Snarkfests. This category includes the self-absorbed but ever-trendy sites like Buzzfeed, Jezebel and Gawker. These sites will help keep your cynicism intact and your lingo au courant. It may also give you a fresh perspective on topics you may not have known were important, but apparently are.
If this list exhausts you, remember you can absorb all of the above with a well-curated Twitter feed.