If you are a DIY public relations newbie with the hopes of getting your business media coverage, you’ve got to be in the know when it comes to breaking and trending news.
My reasons are as follows:
1.) You never want to pitch your fundraiser to a reporter who is on their way to cover a school that’s been held hostage (God forbid) all day. You’ll look like a moron; an inconsiderate moron. Trust me, I’ve been there.
2.) Staying on top of the news can also give you first crack at becoming a contributor to a story – or the story itself.
Case in point: In Nov. 2013, the government shutdown and end of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program stimulus had everybody talking, including our client Jane Hammond of ElderPoint Ministries, a non-profit agency advocating for the elderly. That’s because we identified a hot topic, tied it to the organization because we felt Jane had a unique perspective on this timely news item, and pitched it to reporters like crazy. The result? Favorable media coverage that is now proudly displayed on ElderPoint’s website.
This story wouldn’t have existed without the timely news hook, us knowing it, and our quick action. After all, what’s news today isn’t always news tomorrow. You must strike while the iron is hot.
Keeping up with what’s new in the news is so important that here at Lorrie Walker Public Relations, we set aside the first hour of each day to familiarize ourselves with local and national headlines.
The following list contains many of our go-to sources. If you aren’t regularly visiting any of these sites, I suggest checking them out and bookmarking or subscribing to the RSS feeds of those you like best. And don’t forget to read with purpose; relevant stories aren’t always obvious at first glance.
• Google News (tip: Use the alerts to watch for mentions of your business or to quickly identify topics that are in your field of expertise. You’re welcome)
• BBC News ( FYI: It’s world news, not just UK news)
• CNET News (For all you techies)
• Forbes ( I always find myself wanting to tweet their “thought of the day”)
*Twitter is also a good source for local and national news. It and allows you to keep up with breaking news throughout the day without having to read an article in its entirety. I follow @CNBC, @Forbes and some local affiliates and reporters who do a good job of keeping their followers informed as hometown stories unfold.