When you’re the expert, your clients, your colleagues, even your friends and family expect you to stay on top of industry news and happenings.
And you should, of course, but communications is changing so fast, on top of the industries in which we work.
How do you even begin to stay on top of everything that’s going on?
Because you do have to stay on top of industry news, or risk being relegated to the dusty pile of companies that didn’t bother to look into this whole world wide web thing back in the 90s.
But, if you’re anything like me, you’ve long ago abandoned the attempt to keep up with slang, (it kind of drives me crazy that my six-year-old says “adorbs”) but your executives and your clients need you to understand what’s new, what’s on it’s way out, and what might be coming next..
And, of course, really staying in the loop, reading every article, following every expert and hashtag could take every waking minute of the day—and then some.
No one has time for that.
So what’s the compromise? How do you balance the need to be current, with every other thing you need to do in a day?
I have five strategies for you, and a way to tie them all together into a checklist of activities you can run through a few times a week so you won’t be caught off-guard when you’re asked why you haven’t started doing whatever the greatest new thing is.
Talkwalker Alerts, in my humble opinion, are far better than Google Alerts.
They’re more timely, more targeted, and more—well, they’re just better.
When you visit the site, you can enter keywords, and choose how often you want to be notified.
Then, at your chosen times, Talkwalker sends you an email with links to places where your keyword was mentioned.
It also integrates with Hootsuite, Slack, and other software to make your life incredibly easy.
We abandoned Google Alerts for Talkwalker a few years ago when Google would send mentions…three days later than Talkwalker.
We’re big fans!
If the waterfall of content Talkwalker sends your way is a little overwhelming, then something with a more human touch might be up your alley.
You can argue all day about whether or not email is dead, but people still create newsletters, and we still read them.
Some of those newsletters are useful and interesting and cool.
Last year, we asked you for your favorite newsletters.
We got a ton of suggestions—some that might be new to you.
A lot of them are weekly curated lists of new and interesting things happening on a particular topic, in a particular industry.
Finding a handful of high-quality newsletters in your industry can take a lot of the guesswork out of what you should be paying attention to, and save you a lot of time Googling different headlines.
If there isn’t currently a newsletter in your industry, maybe you should start one!
(If you do, let us know so we can check it out and tell our friends!)
Social Media (Keyword and Influencer Monitoring)
This next item on the list is likely one you’re already doing as a part of your shared media work, so I won’t go into it too deeply, but finding the social feeds of the journalists, leaders, and influencers in your space can be a valuable shortcut for you and your team.
Thought leaders don’t become so by living in a vacuum.
They’re constantly learning, talking to, and forming opinions on all of the updates, innovations, and upcoming challenges in their areas of expertise.
Figuring out who is framing the conversation means you can keep an eye on their social channels, blogs, videos, podcasts, and newsletters to narrow down your search for news.
Client and Audience Questions
Let’s talk about another resource you may not know you have when it comes to keeping abreast of a constantly changing industry: people.
This includes clients, customers, prospects, brand loyalists, and even detractors.
We had a client for several years who remains, to this day, one of my favorites (AND he just won Entrepreneur of the Year in Pennsylvania).
He would come to our weekly meetings with his own agenda and it was always full of questions about things he’d read, heard, or had conversation around.
I never knew what he would ask and I never knew if I’d have the answers, but it forced me to be ultra perceptive when it came to the industry happenings.
I miss my weekly conversations with him!
During your client calls, in internal meetings, or when you’re engaging with your customers, keep an eye out for new names, strategies, and concerns.
They’re typically worth a deeper look.
Talk to Your Team
You know what’s better than one head? Two heads.
And what’s better than two heads? Your entire team.
Hopefully, the people you work with are as interested in your industry as you are—and it’s reasonable to assume that they keep an eye on the news, the changes, and the movers and shakers.
Ask them to let you know when they see or hear or read something interesting.
Not only can it be a nice place to brainstorm, it’s a great way to get more information about what’s new, and more importantly, what your trusted colleagues think is noteworthy.
Stay On Top of Industry News
And of course, there is one bonus option for you.
If you’re part of the Spin Sucks community, you can use the smart and nice and attractive people there to help you stay on top of industry news.
If you’re not, it’s free and it’s great, so get your butt over there.
We will save you a ton of time, and you’ll have the opportunity to chat with peers about industry developments as they’re happening.
And now the floor is yours. How do you stay on top of consistently changing industry news?