How do you stay informed?

By Matter

At any given moment, there is an overflow of information streaming into our lives. From magazines and the Internet, to TV stations and billboards, it seems as though we can’t make a turn without the news hitting us smack dab in the face.

In the PR world, staying informed is key to reaching success. Not only is it important to be knowledgeable about our clients, but it is imperative that we are aware of what’s happening throughout their industries. We must know about the conferences and tradeshows that are happening, relevant awards and of course, what the competition is up to.

We could spend all day scanning the Web and reading and watching the news, so how can you stay informed efficiently? For me, it isn’t about reading one magazine or following a set of analysts on Twitter. In order to stay abreast of what’s happening, I use a combination of different tools and software.

Each morning I start my day with a large cup of green tea. From there, I dive into my day. I open up TweetDeck, which allows me to closely track Twitterers and tweets relevant to my clients, and immediately see what’s happening on the Web. While my TweetDeck loads, I head over to a series of core trade publications’ Web sites. Since blogs have become a key source of information, I am regularly checking my Google Reader account for up-to-the-minute blog updates. Having one place to check for new entries, rather than going to each and every blog, saves me countless minutes (and hours) throughout the day.

This is what’s working for me right now. In a few weeks or months from now, I may have a different routine. We all use different resources to stay informed. So, how do you stay informed about your clients and their industries in an efficient way? What tools are you using? What works best for you?