Sara Jeffers is an account coordinator at Red Shoes PR.
The early bird gets the (media) worm.
The New York Times recently followed Bobby Maldonado, an aid at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as he ventured out into the streets of Washington D.C. before the sun came up. His job: finding, reading and sharing every news story or blog post with his team that could be of concern to his bosses.
“Mr. Maldonado, 26, is one of the dozens of young aids throughout the city who rise before dawn to pour over the news to synthesize it, summarize it and spin it, so their bosses start the day well-prepared.” (Read the article in its entirety here.)
When I read the article, I thought: “That’s me!” Okay, most definitely not the ‘spin’ part. But every other part of Mr. Maldonado’s day sounds pretty familiar to me.
A major part of my day-to-day job is monitoring news stories, blog posts and industry news for our clients. In fact, it’s the very first thing I do in the morning. Because there is no such thing as a 24-hour news cycle, it’s in our clients’ best interest that we begin the “clipping” process as soon as the day begins.
While monitoring local news for mentions of our clients is important, it’s also just as important to monitor national news to keep up with trends and to localize stories in the various industries our clients serve.
Media monitoring is one of the tasks that makes what we do a job that is certainly outside of typical office hours. Breaking news updates and Google Alerts using client names and industry terms as keywords come directly to my phone, keeping me updated around the clock. It’s necessary that our clients be informed with what is reported about them, their competitors and their industries, regardless of the hour.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Part of our job is to use our creativity to think of ways our clients can react to industry news or national and local stories. This continues to position them as thought leaders in their industries while allowing them to react to news in a timely manner. Access to real-time information is key and is a necessary part of our 24/7 information age we live in today.