People, Places and Things We’re Following

There are a number of things we have to keep up on as communication professionals. But, there’s a lot of information out there, so we have to funnel it somehow. Our team shares their favorite websites, influencers, apps and blogs they follow on a daily basis. In a fast-paced industry, these options make things a little easier.

Kim Bode, head honcho

One of the first things I do is check Feedly. I have several feeds set up that cover marketing, content, public relations and other industries that are relevant to our clients. Checking my content feed every day is important to stay on top of current trends and topics. If we don’t remain on top of new information and developments then how will our clients?
I spend the most time delving into PRDaily articles. PRDaily covers everything from breaking news, content marketing, SEO, social media to national events.
The other website or brand I follow every day is Zulily — no matter how many times I delete the app on my phone, it sucks me back in.

Adrienne Wallace, geekette & wonk

Pretty much no one in content management lives without an RSS feed reader, here at 834 we love Feedly. Feeds set up can help us with determining what new changes are in the works on social platforms, aid in the understanding of our political and social environments, and also show me what I should be making for potluck on Friday for the team.
I don’t know what I would do without Twitter. It’s my news, my sanity, my place to complain and get feedback, where I find all the best memes in the free world and I could go on and on about it. News breaks on Twitter, I’m usually miles ahead of my friends on anything related to politics or pop culture thanks to Twitter.
Books, journals and crap you find in the library. I love the library. Can’t live without it I don’t think…I mean why would I even try? I read journals to case studies and everything in between. I care about how “real writing” still impacts our work and am a lover of paperback and hardcover books equally.

Rebecca Dutcher, web director 

One of the big things I’ve been following lately are all things start up and entrepreneur related, especially when it comes to women entrepreneurs. Part of this is because of the clients we work with, like GROW and the coworking space I’m in down in Terre Haute, IN. There I met up with a great group of ladies, call The Start Up Ladies – Twitter @IamAStartupLady. This is a pretty big group and has had some amazingly successful speakers from across the country talking about all aspects of starting, growing, running and learning about their businesses.
This also means I read a lot of articles from Entrepreneur, INC, Forbes, follow Shark Tank, SBA and more. Everything I read from these sources can be applied to a newer business or an existing business that is looking for innovative ideas.
We’re in an ever-changing marketplace these days, and all of our clients are dealing with rapid change. I’m finding that those with an entrepreneurial mindset, who are willing to try things, learn and get information to market faster (while still accurate, of course) have a bigger opportunity. Those with that mindset are willing to work harder, try new things, hustle a bit more, and are not afraid to fail forward.

Lindsay Patton-Carson, content director

I’m signed up for the CNN app, which sends headlines directly to me as notifications. These are helpful because they’re quick updates and I can decide whether or not I want to dive into a specific story.
Twitter is also great for news, depending on which accounts you follow. (My personal favorite: HuffPost Weird News, @HuffPostWeird.) I have a few news outlets I follow on Twitter, plus writers and activists I’ve connected with through my career and interests. These people provide news, humor and insight into current events that I’m not able to get from a news account.
For entertainment purposes, I follow a lot of weird blogs on tumblr. Everyone always asks me how I know where to find stuff on the internet. It’s one part tumblr and one part being really good and Google.

Grace Johnson-Connor, project manager

I am crazy about Instagram and check it probably the most out of all my social accounts.  I love the Instagram Stories feature. It is similar to Snapchat’s “My Story,” which I also love, but my Instagram account is where I go for daily inspiration. It has a different tone than other social accounts, and I make it about my personal interests and things that make me smile. Along with our clients, I follow a lot of local retailers and businesses. I love to see the cool things happening in Grand Rapids and in Michigan. It is really great to see people you know following their dreams each day and turning them into successful businesses that are bringing jobs and innovation to our city. I follow a lot of design accounts as well. I like to see the latest trends in everything from color to fonts. One of my favorite accounts to follow just for the smile factor is The Dogist, because cute pooches always make my day. My other favorite social platform that I have taken on the job of pressuring everyone I know to join (even my mom) is Snapchat. There is nothing better than getting a picture of your friend’s newborn with a pirate filter.

Jessica Krysinska, digital media lead

I go crazy with Twitter Lists because I have a #FOMO problem. I have lists for my friends, local marketing professionals, and local businesses. I like to know what’s going on and how people feel about it. Lately, my Twitter feeds are filled with discussions about The Debates and the traffic caused by ArtPrize tourists. If you don’t use Twitter Lists, you should. It helps you see the tweets you actually want to see, instead of tweets from the past hour. When I’m ready for a break from the real world, I’m looking up fall/winter outfits on Pinterest, crying over sheltered dog pictures on Facebook, and catching up with pop culture via SnapChat Discover page. Yes, I actually use that SnapChat feature.

Nicole Winter, associate

Every morning I make it a priority to read theSkimm newsletter. This briefing of the world’s most important daily news is delivered to my email inbox before I wake up. Reading theSkimm helps me stay updated on the world’s news, from natural disasters to presidential candidates to pop culture. This newsletter reduces the time I would otherwise spend searching through dozens of articles to stay relevant in the public relations world.
I also follow UN Women’s HeForShe campaign on social media. It sets a great example of how communication can tell a compelling story and call audiences to action. Plus, Emma Watson is one of the campaign’s spokespeople and she’s my role model.

Emma Thibault, associate

I’ve been following the “Talking About It” brand, led by Sammy Nickalls, who was the internship coordinator from one of my previous internships. Through working with Sammy, we’ve developed a friendship and I have personally witnessed her passion for mental health awareness. In December, Sammy used the hashtag #talkingaboutit on Twitter to openly discuss her experience with mental health disorders, and the brand has stuck ever since. Today, #talkingaboutit has reached immense growth through bi-weekly Twitter chats and open discussion forums. For more information on the “Talking About It” brand, visit their website or search the hashtag #talkingaboutit on Twitter. Sammy Nickalls can be found on Twitter at @sammynickalls.
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