By Tracy Williams – Olmstead Williams Communications

Staying on top of the news never has been more intimidating, or more important, given our fast-paced world. The Washington Post alone publishes an average of 1,200 stories, graphics and videos per day; the New York Times posts 300 times daily. So much content on so many platforms – how can you stay informed without spending all day at it?

As media relations professionals, we live for news. Here are our top five hacks:

  1. Monitor your email, not the entire Web. Email news is like a clipping service- someone else does theheavy lifting of vetting and summarizing relevant news. Subscribe to tailored news roundups and daily or weekly industry newsletters. They are easy to scan, with links so you can dig deeper when necessary. OWCFavorite - The Skimm for a bit of sarcasm and wit to start the morning.
  2. Subscribe to Google Alerts. Get notified when stories break by setting Google alerts for keywords,industry terms, people and companies important to you. OWC Practice We set alerts for clients and theircompetitors to stay on top of industry activity.
  3. Follow editors and reporters on Twitter. The key players on social media can keep you in the loop withminimal effort. Many reporters post breaking news as it happens, keeping you informed with a simple scrollthrough your newsfeed. OWC Habit We do quick three to four-minute scans a couple of times a day. Primescrolling times are first thing in the morning, mid-morning around 10-11 a.m., after lunch, and mid-afternoonas the day is winding down.
  4. Bookmark your favorite blogs. Set aside an hour a week to look through targeted industry newsroomsand company blogs for official announcements. OWC Rule Without barriers to entry, there always are newblogs popping up. We regularly swap new thought leaders onto our favorites list.
  5. Maximize your drive time. Subscribe to industry podcasts. They’ll automatically appear on your smart phone, available to listen to anytime you are. OWC Listens - The Tim Ferriss Show is an excellent tech podcast with a focus on the startup scene. A good choice for the healthcare industry is Tech Tonics. We also love CXYZ, by our clients TaskUs co-founders Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir, which explores the world of customer experience (CX) with top tech executives and industry leaders.Regardless of how you do it, stay up on industry news. Trends develop quickly, and no leader wants to be left behind. Nothing hurts a reputation more when the topic turns to new developments than a blank look and “Huh, interesting.” Leaders who keep up become talkers, not listeners.Try our tips and let us know which ones work best for you. If you need some help, tweet us @OWCPR.

Tracy Williams is CEO and founder of Olmstead Williams Communications. Technology, life sciences and professional services businesses rely on OWC to drive brand awareness and revenues. For more information, visit www.olmsteadwilliams.com.