JKL 5 by mag3737

Let’s face it . . .  whether you’re a PR student, practitioner or faculty member, we’re all busy. So how can you get (and stay) up to speed with the ever-changing world of public relations? Here’s a quick guide to how I stay current in public relations.

One: Listen to PR podcasts.

Some of my favorite podcasts are: For Immediate ReleaseInside PRThe Creative CareerTrafcom NewsMarketing Over Coffee and Coming Up PR. My favorite time to listen to podcasts is during my daily two-mile walks in this sweltering Florida heat. I also listen to them when I drive, work out and clean the house. Some people prefer to listen to podcasts on their computers; my preference is listening to them on my Palm Pre or iPod.

Here’s a short video on how to subscribe to and download podcasts using iTunes. If you’re not an iTunes person, you may want to visit Podcast Alley, where you can find thousands more podcasts. You can listen to the podcasts directly from the website.

Two: Subscribe to daily or weekly PR e-mailed newsletters.

My favorite PR newsletter is one that comes into my inbox daily from Ragan Communications: the PR Daily newsfeed. When I want to read the latest on PR, this is the newsletter I turn to first. Another helpful newsletter comes from Chris Brogan; Chris provides different content in the newsletter than he does on his blog, so it’s definitely worth subscribing.

Three: Follow PR practitioners on Twitter.

Are you a public relations student (or recent grad) just getting started using Twitter? Try following some (or all) of these people or organizations in my Twitter Starter Pack for PR Students. They all have something in common: they tweet useful or interesting information for people involved in public relations.

Four: Read PR blogs.

There are hundreds of blogs about public relations. I’ve bookmarked many of them in Delicious for you. You can subscribe to them using your favorite RSS reader (such as Google Reader), or just read them on the web. Some of the most helpful blogs I’ve discovered recently include The Comms Corner and Karen Russell’s Week’s Best (which I just learned is on hiatus for the summer), as they aggregate current posts of interest to PR practitioners.

Five: Watch the news on TV.

Yes, I said “watch the news on TV.” I mean on a real TV, with a complete newscast, not just bits and bobs that you catch online. I start off every day a steaming mug or three of chicory coffee and at least an hour of broadcast news, usually with 15 or so minutes of local news followed by the Today Show. By knowing what’s going on in the world, it helps frame the snippets of stories I read or hear online throughout the day. To be sure that I’m keeping up on the news, I also listen to the podcast version of  NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me weekly news quiz. (I sometimes even play the Lightning Round of Wait Wait in class on Mondays to see how much my students know about what’s going on in the world.)

Your suggestions?

What additional resources would you recommend?

(NOTE: This post is an updated version of one I wrote in early January 2010.)

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101 Responses to Five Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations News & Trends

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  3. [...] social media before they return to their classes in the fall. Here’s an updated version of a post I wrote last June that should be helpful to [...]

  4. [...] Public Relations Matters: Dr. Barbara B. Nixon posts to this blog about a number of public relations and communications issues. Recommended post: “Five Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations News & Trends.” [...]

  5. [...] Public Relations Matters: Dr. Barbara B. Nixon posts to this blog about a number of public relations and communications issues. Recommended post: "Five Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations News & Trends." [...]

  6. [...] Five Ways to Keep Current in Public Relations News & Trends: Occasionally, my students ask me how I know so much about what is going on in the world of public relations. It’s simple: I actively try to stay up on news and trends. This blog post explains how I do it, and how PR students should do it, too. [...]

  7. [...] proper sources of information. That’s why I want to share with you something very helpful. I found this very useful article summing up the best we can do in order to keep informed in the fiel…. I am sure that if we follow these practices we can obtain fruitful and topical information and [...]

  8. [...] (http://www.moneyinstructor.com/art/mediastory.asp), and publicrelationsmatters.com, (http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/06/15/five-ways-to-keep-current-in-public-relations/), are great websites to help develop a better understanding of public relations and what it takes [...]

  9. [...] 2010-07-24T13:27:21  HOW TO: Keep current with #PR news & trends [link to post] [...]

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  11. Barbara, good reminders for PR News seekers. I’d like to share a list I maintain of nearly 100 sources for PR news I hope would be helpful at ThePRCoach http://www.theprcoach.com/pr-news. Links to many PR bloggers too. Many thanks for your insights.

  12. [...] Link to the blog I really enjoyed this blog. I found it very helpful, especially since I’m just starting out. I thought it was particularly interesting how you included watching the news. I am taking another class on campus this semester and the professor asked the class just the other day- ”How many of you watch the news on tv?” I was, to be frank, astonished by how few hands went up. That is my main source of news coverage because it is 30 minutes out of my day that I don’t have to do anything else. Granted- wsav doesn’t do the worlds’ greatest job of keeping me informed on the world stage- but they do a good enough job that when I hear about something, I perk up and if I want to know more, I go find it either online or in a newspaper story. It’s hard to imagine not having the opportunity to watch the 11:00 news because it’s been a part of my life for the past … 8 years? Since I was old enough to realize it’s importance. Anyways, THANK YOU! For the words of advice. [...]

  13. Sarah Redden says:

    I really enjoyed this blog. I found it very helpful, especially since I’m just starting out. I thought it was particularly interesting how you included watching the news. I am taking another class on campus this semester and the professor asked the class just the other day- “How many of you watch the news on tv?” I was, to be frank, astonished by how few hands went up. That is my main source of news coverage because it is 30 minutes out of my day that I don’t have to do anything else. Granted- wsav doesn’t do the worlds’ greatest job of keeping me informed on the world stage- but they do a good enough job that when I hear about something, I perk up and if I want to know more, I go find it either online or in a newspaper story. It’s hard to imagine not having the opportunity to watch the 11:00 news because it’s been a part of my life for the past … 8 years? Since I was old enough to realize it’s importance.
    Anyways, THANK YOU! For the words of advice.

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