MacKenzie Riley Young post cardBy Anna McDermott

In the 18th episode of The PR Maven Podcast®, Nancy Marshall spoke with Mackenzie Riley Young, the assistant director of media relations at Thomas College. Mackenzie, who is fairly new to her career in public relations, has already learned a very important lesson about doing your job well: “If you’re going into public relations and media relations you have to consume a lot of news.”

If your job is managing the public’s impression of your company, it is vital that you know what’s happening in the world. A simple comment, poorly timed, could have disastrous consequences for a company if it’s misread as relating to a world news event even if it doesn’t. But there is a ton of news out there; it’s impossible for anyone to read it all in a day so here are some tips to bring you the latest news so you can consume what you need.

Google Alerts: Everyone should have alerts set up on Google for words or phrases like your name and the name of your company, the products you make or your client’s names – basically anything that, should it pop up in a news story, you’d want to know right away.

News Alerts: Many popular news outlets, like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CBS, etc., have news alerts you can sign up for via text or email. I love getting my NY Times texts about the very latest news – I’m frequently the first person to tell others what’s happening.

Twitter: Check the trending hashtags on Twitter throughout the day and certainly before you tweet anything.

Twitter trending hashtagsTwitter gives you some ability to edit your trends, as well. (This is also a great way to use trending hashtags to your advantage.)

Bing News: Bing News is like Google but also shows you trending stories on Facebook and Twitter and highlights from your local news outlets. It has an Interest Manager, so you can tailor your news board to some specific topics.

Apps: There are also apps you can download, like Flipboard, that let you customize what news you see.

Real News Fast: It’s always a good idea to head to your favorite news outlet’s websites each morning or read the actual daily paper, and quickly review what stories are on the front page and give a quick read over some of them.

The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is a fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit