Tracking Hot Topics: Why It’s Important to Monitor the News Daily

May 4, 2013 // By: // No Comments

Traditional Media     

As a member of Hunter Public Relations’ media department, I closely monitor national newspaper headlines and major online news outlets. This keeps me updated on newsworthy topics our agency can leverage on behalf of our clients. For those working in public relations, staying abreast of hot news stories provides timely opportunities to join conversations and gain greater visibility for the brands that you represent. Here are three examples of recent news stories and how brands were able to use them to generate their own media coverage:

1. Cyber Security and Hacking Scandals

During the past several months, cyber attacks and hacking scandals have spread like wildfire and have affected governments, companies and social networks worldwide. The media continue to cover this topic and offer suggestions on what companies and consumers can do to protect themselves and their devices. As a result, this provides fertile ground for tech manufacturers and cyber security experts to comment, increasing their share of voice.

  • Hunter Public Relations was able to insert 3M and its line of computer privacy filters into the conversation by securing placements in relevant trade outlets like and releasing the 3M Visual Privacy Productivity Study at the annual RSA security conference.
  • Cyber security expert Hemu Nigam presented his safe online shopping tips to HLN (formerly CNN Headline News) viewers on Cyber Monday, the day with the highest number of cybercrime claims each year.


2. Mayor Bloomberg: “Nanny-in-Chief”

Mayor Bloomberg’s public health initiatives keep him in the media spotlight — from calorie counts in fast food restaurants, to the passing and repealing of the New York City soda ban, to the cigarette ‘out of sight’ policy. Media in the Big Apple and around the country closely observe the mayor’s every move due to the significant impact these laws can have on companies and people’s lives. Soda manufacturers and other groups have joined the conversation:

  • Coca-Cola introduced a marketing campaign that addresses the obesity epidemic. The campaign demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing more drink options that have fewer calories, and it encourages consumers to burn off its soda can’s “140 happy calories” through a host of physical activities.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Ben Jealous took to the airwaves to oppose Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban.


3. Workplace Issues

Two of the most influential women in Corporate America, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, stir discussion and debate on several fronts: Is the glass ceiling for women in the workplace beginning to crack?; can moms with powerful positions in the workplace “have it all”?; what are the pros and cons of telecommuting? Companies and thought leaders have provided media with insightful content and opinions on these issues:

  •, a job search site for technology professionals, highlighted the gender-related findings from its annual salary survey this year when pitching results to business outlets like Forbes.
  • Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates disagreed with Mayer’s telecommuting ban, as noted in a CNN Money interview picked up by Business Insider.
  • Career coach and author Kathy Caprino offered her opinions on a host of workplace and leadership issues affecting women to Huffington Post Business.


By tracking the trends and popular stories in national media, public relations professionals can help their brands join existing conversations that they know people care about.

About the Author

Marissa DeAngelis

Marissa DeAngelis is a junior account executive in Hunter PR’s media department, assisting account teams with local and national outreach.