Unique Ways PR Pros Can (and Should) Consume News

PR specialists must eat, sleep and breathe news. We need to stay connected to a variety of news outlets to stay current and knowledgeable, both for our own benefit as well as that of our clients. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, news consumption in the US was up by 215%, showing that we rely more on the news than ever before. 

One of the best and easiest ways to position executives as thought leaders is by taking advantage of relevant news stories as soon as they break. “Newsjacking” is one way that PR people secure reactive coverage by jumping on a story that’s already in the news. The worst feeling in the world for a PR agency staffer is failing to notice a big breaking story and thus missing an opportunity to newsjack. So what are some ways we can stay on top of the 24/7 news game?

News Apps

Sometimes unnecessary notifications on our phones can be distracting, but for PR teams, notifications from news apps are essential. Because notifications can be customized to topics you want to stay on top of, they’re extremely useful. Popular apps like Flipboard, feedly, and even Apple News can be tailored to your interests so that you can stay up-to-date on both specific publications as well as topics. 


Newsletters are another essential tool for any PR person’s inbox. Email newsletters are a fast way to scan the daily headlines from a given publication in the hope that a long-awaited exclusive has finally gone live, or simply to shape the day’s media outreach. Some of my favorite newsletters and the ones I read on a daily basis are The Daily Skimm, Digiday 5 Things to Know, and The Morning Brew. The benefit is that they offer brief summaries on the most important headlines of the day, so we can gauge our interest in more in-depth searches. Check out this list of newsletters every PR pro should receive. 


Podcasts have soared in popularity in the past few years. Fifty-five percent (155 million) of the US population has listened to a podcast. Podcasts are not only a great way to go in-depth on a topic, but they’re also an easy way to consume news on the go. Popular news podcasts like The Daily by The New York Times, Up First by NPR and WSJ What’s News by The Wall Street Journal are great vehicles for catching up on the news in less than 15 minutes. They’re often hosted by influential reporters and are ideal when you don’t have time to sit down and read the news first thing in the morning.  

Voice Assistants

I’d be lost without my Amazon Echo. I even became that lazy person who hooked up their lights to a smart plug so I can turn my lights off by voice. But in addition to rewarding laziness, we can train our voice assistants to keep us up to date on the news. I’ve set up a skill on my Echo to give me a flash briefing if I say “Alexa, Give me the news,” and anyone can set up their favorite outlets to hear major headlines from outlets like Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, NPR and more. This is a great feature for PR people who might want to hear the news first thing when they wake up as they get ready for the day ahead. 


What are some ways you consume the news that others may not know about? Let us know on Twitter @colleeno_pr

Top 6 Apps To Stay On Top Of PR Trends

PR professionals tend to be early adopters and tech savvy, which is why we like helpful apps. Much of our work requires us to stay on top of the latest trends and news, both within PR and our clients’ various industries. What’s happening in the news can offer great opportunities to piggyback and pitch stories. Here are our picks for the best apps to make sure you’re the first to know.

Flipboard: Described as a “social news magazine,” the app creates a customized digital magazine with news, from outlets such as The New York Times, Fast Company and Vanity Fair, on topics you choose to follow. You can also search for news and save stories in your magazine – and create different magazines for different topics and manage them from your dashboard. “The Daily Edition” delivers the day’s top news selected by Flipboard’s editorial staff, and local editions are available in 24 countries. With its aesthetically-pleasing design and curated touch, Flipboard makes finding and reading stories something you look forward to! Free on iOS and Android.

Overcast: Turn your mobile device into a radio that gets you up to speed on local, national and international news through your favorite podcasts. Download podcasts ahead of time to listen to offline during your commute so you’re updated by the time you dive in to work. The app offers recommendations for new news, and notifies you when new episodes for shows you subscribe to are available. Free on iOS; “Unlock Everything” for $4.99.

PR Newswire: The app version of this top PR news wire service delivers the most recent press releases, multimedia and earnings reports to your device. You can set up alerts for organizations and topics, and quickly know news about your company or brand’s competitors. Free on iOS.

Twitterific: Think of this as your ultra-customized Twitter feed. It allows you to view mentions and direct messages on your timeline, customize themes, tweet, switch between accounts easily, and share images and animated GIFs with rich media support. This cuts the amount of time you need to spend on Twitter but still lets you capture and share info effectively. Free on iOS.

Paper: This app offered by Facebook integrates with your news feed to highlight top stories from friends and topics of interest in a clean, appealing layout. Only the most important text and photos are pulled, allowing you to view your feed distraction-free. You can also share content directly from the app. It’s a great way to know what’s buzzing among your social circles. Free on iOS.

Nuzzel: If you work in PR, it’s likely you have smart friends who care about similar topics. This app alerts you to the top stories from key outlets such as CNN, NBC, Fox, The New York Times and BuzzFeed that others are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. When you find interesting articles, you can easily share via Twitter, Facebook, email or text directly through the app. Free on iOS and Android.

A PR Apps Wishlist

“There’s an app for that!”

We have become dependent on the best apps for Smartphone and other mobile devices in both personal and professional life and look forward to the latest and greatest. Here are some promising new apps to make our lives a little bit easier in 2013.

Ideal both for individual users and groups, Asana allows users to not only stay connected to their colleagues but to the tasks they are working on as well. As an added bonus, it’s a free app (for groups under 30), and offers an invaluable service offices small and large can well use.

Parking Panda
I rely on public transportation for my commute, mostly because parking in New York City is a nightmare (as in most major cities.)  Mobile navigation and GPS apps which help us find everything from restaurants to laundromats are fine but without parking tips, some people may never reach them! Enter Parking Panda which provides users with daily and monthly parking options (including rates) that are close to their destination, thus alleviating (some) of the headaches of city driving.

A huge time saver, Buffer allows you to schedule all of your social media content through one place. In addition, it also enables you to schedule to your content at the ideal time of day via their spiffy algorithm.

Running Windows on a mobile device can be a very trying experience. Thus, CloudOn is a necessity for any professional, as it seamlessly integrates Excel, PowerPoint, Word and even Adobe Reader with your devices’ keyboard.

Like eating in big groups, but hate getting stuck footing the biggest part of the bill (which I usually do)? Divvy allows you to scan, mark and calculate just your orders for both ease of payment and peace of mind, about who is paying for which piece of pie. Just snap a photo of your receipt, mark it according who ordered what, and keep your friends honest.

Battery Stats Plus
While a dead battery may offer a much appreciated respite from the trials of work, no one likes the subsequent feeling of alienation, or the drop of an important conversation caused by the untimely demise of your battery. Battery Stats Plus provides you with more than just a visual icon of how much battery you have remaining, it gives you detailed stats on which apps or processes drain your battery the most. Meaning you can have your battery cake and eat it too.
Know of any other great apps that can help make 2013 easier? Leave them in comments section below.