The Latest News on How Middle Market CEOs Can Stay on Top of the News
Here's the latest news: Middle market CEOs have one of the most demanding jobs in the world. You need to understand the big picture, create an effective strategic vision to grow your middle market company, convince your team to buy into it, and then make sure your people can execute it every single day. Keeping on top of the ever-increasing amounts of information that come at you is one of your most challenging and important tasks. Whether it's business news, market/industry trends, or expert advice, the latest news in your industry should help inform everything you do. But how can you keep up? Here are three guidelines:
1. Keep a Device or Laptop Handy
A survey on news consumption from CEO.com says "Faster access and more transparency are the new normal." Middle market CEOs are looking for usable information that's relevant, quick, and easy to access. As such, it's crucial to have a mobile device or laptop handy to stay on top of news. More sources of information are arriving every day, especially for the tech-savvy CEO. Even though most CEOs prefer text, whether online or through print formats, the CEO.com survey found that 75 percent of CEOs under age 50 "mostly consume information online."
2. Supplement Traditional Outlets with Social Media
Reading a daily newspaper and supplementing it with a blog about your industry and Twitter posts from a business expert is now the smart way to go. Yet while social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) is increasingly important, it's the traditional news sources that remain dominant. BuzzFeed CEO and Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti understandably believes that "social [media] is the new starting point" for finding the latest news, but even he reads The New York Times print edition in the morning. As Peretti explains to TheWire.com: "You can like tabloid stuff," he says, "and smart substantive reporting. That's not a contradiction. That's just being human."
3. Take Advantage of Personalization Tools
If there's an important trade agreement being negotiated or a new regulation being considered that could have a large impact on your business or industry, set up a Google alert for that topic and get regular updates. There are now more tools to personalize your news consumption than ever. Use mobile applications, sign up for industry newsletters, and start a Twitter account to keep in touch with what your peers are doing.
With the proliferation of information, the importance of filtering information has never been more important. You'll need to develop the ability to separate relevant, reliable, and actionable information from fluff and background noise. Developing these skills takes time and experience. In a pinch, it's best to go to historically reliable, trustworthy sources of information instead of a source that's only a few months old. The most popular news sources among CEOs, according to CEO.com, remain mainstays like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, and CNN.
In the end, only you as a middle market CEO can determine the precise mix of information that best suits you and your company. Trial and error is one way to go, especially as news sources appear and disappear overnight. Keeping up with the latest news is getting more complicated every day; however, the options and opportunities have never been better.
Where are your favorite places to find news that give you a competitive edge in your industry?
Boston-based Chuck Leddy is an NCMM contributor and a freelance reporter who contributes regularly to The Boston Globe and Harvard Gazette. He also trains Fortune 500 executives in business-communication skills as an instructor for EF Education. Circle him on Google+.