Typing the same search terms into Google day after day may seem like a chore, but the benefits of it far outweigh the negatives. I’m talking about industry news scanning, which is a service many PR agencies provide for their clients. But it’s not only helpful to your clients – it is key in helping you grow as a PR professional.
I scan newspapers and online outlets daily for coverage related to my client’s industry, trade, and competitors. Google Alerts are handy for some things, but they’re not as efficient as we would all like them to be. To successfully complete an industry news scan, it works better to have a list of core terms that are associated with your client’s product or key interests that you run through Google every day.
Industry news scans help the client because it constantly alerts them to best practices, what their competitors are doing, and the popular topics in the industry space they exist in. But it can also benefit you as a PR pro in the following ways:
- Everything has a niche market you can tap into: From microSD cards to specialty chocolates, every product out there is supported by a community of consumers, bloggers and reporters who are dedicated to discussing and reviewing it. Knowing that niche markets exist is key for PR – next time you need to pitch that unique rare video game, you can be confident the relevant consumer base is out there.
- Find the most pertinent reporters: This tip has been a pot of gold for me in my own pitching efforts. Industry news scanning allows you to find the reporters who are writing about hot topics that are important to your client. You already know what these reporters are passionate about, and how it aligns with your client’s message – it’s a match made in heaven.
- Become fluent: It is important to be highly articulate in the industry your clients exist in. Specifically for clients in the technology sphere, industry news scanning can help you learn key terminology that is helpful in pitching efforts.
- Learn key trends that can be applicable elsewhere: Often, when I’m scanning the industry news I find topics that are relevant to multiple clients – which makes my job easier!
It is commonly stated that PR professionals need to keep up to date with what is happening in the world around us – and industry news scanning is a great way to do just that.