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Confessing My Content Addiction: What I Read To Keep Up

By on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Daily reading over coffee is not just a newspaper
but includes social media filters and email news alerts.
This photo is licensed under Creative Commons.

Since I wrote last week about how nonprofit PR pros should focus their reading to keep up with news and industry trends, I thought I should evaluate what I read. It’s mind-numbing to realize how much stuff I have coming to my inbox every day, but I don’t read all of it – I skim it and pause when something catches my interest. Still, one could easily argue that my content addiction rivals my caffeine requirements.

To keep up with the news each day – I usually cruise my iPad in the morning and evening to check on the major networks and newspapers. I get daily e-newsletters and some alerts from the Washington Post, Politico, The Hill and the New York Times. I have at least 20 Google Alerts that send me news about my clients and the topics they care about on a daily basis. I cruise Google News periodically during the day.
Because I have a few nonprofit clients who work with veterans and surviving families, it’s important that I stay on top of news in that sector. So I get the Early Bird (the media summary from the Pentagon which is shared with the nonprofit community by an association), the Military.com Early Brief, the TIME magazine Battleland blog e-newsletter, and Politico’s Morning Defense e-newsletter.I also like the At War blog by the NY Times, which I read online.
I skim the National Law Journal e-newsletter every afternoon – since I have a legal assistance nonprofit client that specializes in veterans benefits, and look at the Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) news summary each afternoon. I get newsletters from Huffington Post on topics that matter to my clients, including coverage of baby boomer issues, health, and several others.
With association clients who work in higher education, I read Inside Higher Ed every morning. I also get Academe from the Chronicle of Higher Education and other alerts the Chronicle publishes on higher ed topics and community colleges. I still glance at Education Week, and subscribe to some non-daily specialized e-newsletters so I can keep on top of things. And like many PR people, I scan Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Reporter Connection to see if any of my clients might fit the journalist queries posted.
I get e-newsletters from Nonprofit Quarterly, Chronicle of Philanthropy, PRSA, MediaBistro and Association Media and Publishing, as well as the Daily DoGooder from YouTube which highlights a great nonprofit video each day. The LinkedIn and Yahoo Group Digest formats help me check on groups I subscribe to. I use list and hashtag features in Twitter to filter what I read.
A few books are usually jockeying for my attention as well – typically about social media or nonprofit communications and leadership. Some of them hang out on my “to read” list for a long time. Twitter for Good has been trapped there for a long time. And with book club tonight, I’ve been steamrolling a novel for fun instead.
I skim to extract what is helpful and delete the rest. If I don’t have time to read things because news is breaking or work is piling up – I know there will be more news arriving tomorrow and hit delete.
Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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