Energy News & Information: Bringing Order to Chaos

We now live in a time when we have  access to almost too much information making it hard to sort through the clutter and distinguish what news is actually useful. Without a proper strategy, reading the news can be both daunting and time-intensive. PR firms in DC, companies and individuals from around the world can learn ways to simplify the process; you can stay up to date on your industry news without spending the whole day sifting through a Twitter feed, hundreds of Google searches and 12 different news outlets.

Let’s delve into the energy industry as an example. It’s important to be aware of the various forms of media out there. There are professional trade media publications, like: Platts, RTO Insider or Energy Insider. And, of course, there are also national and regional media news outlets, like: NPR, The Washington Post, The Indianapolis Star and so on. You can get energy-specific podcasts, like: Clean Energy News, Global Energy News or Direct Current. Outside of those main options, you always have blogs (top energy blogs, here) and primary news sources, like: FERC, NERC and state regulators who distribute industry news.

Now that I’ve overwhelmed you by alerting you to news outlets you may not have known even existed, I’m going to show you how to curate all this information into a strategy that works for you to both be current on industry happenings and  be “that guy/girl” in the 10:30 a.m. meeting who knew about the latest state regulations (#BrowniePoints).

We suggest you start your day with a personalized RSS feed. A Real Simple Syndication lets you choose outlet(s), company(s) and/or topic(s) that interest you and collects the most relevant stories from across the internet and delivers it to your mailbox. This will save you a lot of time and effort; where you used to have to go to multiple outlets and scan for relevant coverage, you now essentially have a machine assistant that does the hard work for you. You can quickly scan the feed, click on a story that particularly interests you or just read the synopsis in the feed so you’re up to date on any major news. Feedly is the most popular, but there are a variety of other FREE options you can checkout, here

A Real Simple Syndication lets you choose outlet(s), company(s) and/or topic(s) that interest you and collects the most relevant stories from across the internet and delivers it to your mailbox.


Next on your list of action items for an informed energy industry insider, is to sign up for relevant breaking news Google alerts or badge/banner notifications on your phone. When you’re in a consumer satisfaction-focused industry, like say making sure everyone has electricity to light up their house, turn on their TV, and charge their phone or even their car, it’s fairly important to be alerted as soon as possible to breaking news. Be sure to be conservative with what terms you use to setup alerts so you don’t get overwhelmed and end up deleting them all because there are too many to read. Choose specific terms so you rarely get an alert and when you do, you’re ready for action.

If you’re like me, your Twitter feed contains business influencers, your high school debate team and cat videos so it’s easy to get distracted or miss important news. An easy way around this, and to optimize Twitter for media monitoring, is to setup a free Hootsuite account and create a few energy-specific streams (PoliticoPro curated Twitter lists of energy reporters and energy influencers to help get you started). Hootsuite will then show you ONLY tweets from these people. You can also setup a stream for any tweet that mentions your company. Overall, this is a great service and easy to scan so you’re not getting lost in the various (hilarious) trending hashtags of the day. 

Sign up for relevant breaking news Google alerts or badge/banner notifications on your phone.

Most smartphones nowadays come pre-loaded with a news app that you’re probably not taking advantage of: Apple News (on the iPhone) or Upday (Android). You can go in and set parameters, like certain terms or news outlets, and it will automatically compile related items for you. This is a great feature that you can also quickly scroll through as you’re waiting for the train.

While we’re talking about waiting, a great way to kill those 60 minutes you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, but not get pulled over for being on your phone (safe driving, people), is to listen to an energy podcast. The podcast app also comes pre-loaded on smartphones and is a great way to really explore a topic or learn the nitty-gritty of that new legislation from an expert. I know, I know, who knew there were podcasts out there other than SERIAL?

Moral of the story, you don’t need to hire an assistant (sorry recent grad) or spend half of your day reading multiple different news resources. You can be informed and up to date on your industry news by taking a few simple steps – start with making an RSS feed and go from there. Trust me, your morning routine will thank you. 

– By: Maura Hunter –  Senior Associate | MHunter@xenophonstrategies.com

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