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No one at my agency reads the daily newspapers. Should I?

This week, our resident agony (Dutch) uncle gives four good reasons why PR people should still read newspapers.

No one at my agency reads the daily newspapers. Should I?

I go into many agencies these days and often see the daily newspapers still neatly bundled together and unread, even by late afternoon. So, your agency isn’t on its own.

A PR person skim-reading the newspapers at the start of their day over a cuppa has definitely gone out of fashion over the years. I think that’s a really bad thing.

Firstly, because a big slug of the population still read newspapers and therefore they are important as a channel in their own right. They are often the first medium for stories that then fly on social media, TV, radio and other platforms. Fail to understand what’s in the papers and how they approach things editorially and you’ll have a problem engaging them with any stories or content you want to push out.

Secondly, I always find that reading the newspapers gives me so many new ideas and thoughts which I can then apply to clients. They are quite brilliant publications, produced by very talented people. Getting an intake of the news from this country and further afield, digesting opinions of columnists and leader writers, learning about stuff via more in-depth features, all provide me with a huge daily dose of inspiration. I don’t find I can get that from social and digital media quite as much and in the same way.

Thirdly, and very practically, you’ll spot stories that you can piggyback on. Only by getting to grips with the news agenda can you do this. Clients will love you for it.

Finally, reading the papers is the fun part of the job and you’re getting paid to do it!

Consumption of newspapers, even in their digital form, should be a vital part of your day and provide the perfect kickstart to it.

Written by Graham Goodkind who is a Dutch uncle – a new type of non-exec business adviser – to several agencies in the marketing services sector, in addition to being founder and chairman of Frank.

If you have got a question for our agony (Dutch) uncle regarding any issue relating to the running, operations, business or financial aspect of a PR agency, either as an owner, manager or executive, then email and your question will be featured in a coming issue.

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