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How to make the news come to you

Let’s face it; a PR campaign is only as good as the angle it’s sold in with. This means no matter what your business, it pays to keep abreast with current affairs.
From web to print, press room to public relations office, media professionals are under enormous pressure to gather story ideas in short timescales. Needless to say then, we go well beyond a simple Google search. Keen to share our secrets, here are five ways to make the news come to you, which every professional with an interest in generating coverage should know about.
1. Set up a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feed Reader
Despite Really Simple Syndication being old news, hence Google dropping support, we still recommend. Link your Feed Reader to any website with an RSS link, and all new stories from those sites will appear on your Feed Reader (think of it like a paper you edit). Try using Feedly, Newsblur, Digg, or Pulse.
2. Read Twitter’s new related headlines
As we featured earlier this month on our blog, Twitter has recently introduced a Related Headlines feature to all tweets. Put simply, whenever someone posts an update, the network now uses an algorithm to match up that content with similar stories from external sites across the Internet.
3. Sign up for If This Then That
Recently launched for iPhone, If This Then That lets users create innumerable combinations of notification commands. So that could be ‘if Smoking Gun PR wins a new client send an email to [email protected]’ or ‘when the UK falls back into recession please text me’. The world is your oyster, go command.
4. Use Mention
A bit like Google Alerts, except it has a price, Mention is a desktop app that lets you scour for keywords and phrases across blogs, social networks, forums, websites, and anywhere else anything might be mentioned online, and even includes video and image searches. Not bad for $6.99 per month.
5. Create Google Alerts
Thanks to the Internet’s most dominant firm, it’s possible to set up an e-mail alert system that will notify you when any web domain that’s included in Google News updated with a story related to subjects that interest you. This means that every time a major site posts a new article relating to your campaign, business, or industry, it will take mere seconds for word to reach your inbox.

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