If knowing the media is half the battle, knowing what the media is writing about is the other half. By following journalists, PR professionals are able to keep a finger on the pulse of all things new and gain a solid understanding of what will be deemed newsworthy. It’s this knowledge and understanding that allows us to connect our clients’ news to top trends and stories. It’s simply not enough to know the media, we must be able to identify trends and make them synonymous with the brand we represent. For years, PR professionals have started their day reading the major dailies, monitoring broadcasts throughout the day to get the news they need to make their clients relevant. Today, a new generation is turning to social media and blogs to get the news they need. Our series will cover the various ways PR pros can supplement how they get their news using untraditional methods, beginning with RSS feeds. Ideally, your strategy for following the news will contain a healthy mix of traditional and non-traditional sources for a well-rounded approach to staying up to date on all things newsworthy.

So how do we aggregate all that news?

There are only so many hours in a day, which is why so many PR professionals have flocked to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Readers as their main source for digesting news quickly. It’s safe to say that the shuttering of Google Reader threw many in the PR industry for a loop – didn’t everyone start and end their day scanning their reader with a big dose of caffeine? Luckily, new readers like Feedly have stepped in to save the day, aggregating the feeds we love via an aesthetically pleasing platform and app. The site makes it easy to set up feeds for top industries you follow and the top outlets in each field.

For example, if you’re an award winning technology PR Agency like us at Max Borges Agency, you’d want to set up a technology category where you can house all your feeds from top tech sites like MashableCNET and Gizmodo for a daily dose of all things tech. We also recommend setting up a “just for fun” category as well to capture feeds like #IWorkInPR and NYC PR Girls to scan when you need a quick break. You can find a site’s feed by searching for it on Feedly by clicking “add content” or by clicking the RSS icon on the website you’d like to add to your feed. You can also find RSS feeds by entering the website you’re looking for with the term “RSS” into your search engine. Simply copy the web address for the feed once you find it and paste it into the “add content” field on Feedly.

What about Google Alerts?

With Google reader, we were able to get all our alerts delivered right to our feed, but when Google Reader was shut down, we had no choice but to let our inboxes become flooded with alerts. Well, we eventually came up with a top secret (OK, not so secret) trick for getting those valuable Google Alerts into our Feedly. Start by going to Google.com and entering your alert term and hit search. Then, select ‘news’ at the top of the page to show only news results. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the RSS icon. Hit that, and you’ll be taken to a page with a bunch of code – but don’t let that scare you. All you need to do is to copy the web address. Lastly, go to Feedly and hit “Add Content” and paste the address into the field. A feed will be created and you all news will be captured in real time to your feed. Ta-da!

 Below are links to ten of the dozens of RSS feeds we follow daily here at Max Borges Agency. Our next post in the series will cover how PR professionals can use podcasts to follow top news stories from traditional print and broadcast outlets without ever having to open a paper or turn on the TV.

A few feeds we read…

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