The Internet, despite its vast greatness, presents a challenge: it’s a constant stream of data screaming for our attention.

There are videos to be watched, news to be read, think pieces to be considered and GIFs to be shared. Open up Twitter and Facebook and you’re completely inundated with media. So how do you sort through social media and make it work for you? How do you consume media when it’s convenient for you? PR professionals face a tall order: stay on top of everything that’s going on in the world…always. While not possible, there are quite a few apps that can help you control your media consumption.

1) Pocket

Pocket is probably the most popular read-it-later app out there for a few reasons: it’s simple, it’s well-designed and it works! If you’re ready to get started, simply create an account and start saving to Pocket. Saving content to Pocket is as simple as adding the extension to your browser (compatible with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) for easy one-click saving. Additionally, you can download the free Pocket app for iOS and Android, then integrate with other apps in the iOS or Android ecosystem. Say for example you’re using the Twitter app (or third party Twitter app) on your iPhone and you come across an article tweeted out by your friend that you find interesting, but don’t have the time right then to read it. Simply save it to Pocket and when you’re ready, you can access your content (either online or the app) and catch up on all the things you had previously saved.

2) Feedly

Google Reader was shuttled away on July 2, 2013. Since then, there have been a number of applications that have tried to replace it but one sticks out above the rest – Feedly. Feedly is your standard RSS (really simple syndication) service, which works by pulling in content from sites you’ve requested. For example, I’m a bit of a consumer tech geek, so I like to keep up with consumer gadget blogs like The Verge, Gizmodo, Engadget, etc. Rather than going to each site, I can simply add them to my Feedly (and even group them). Feedly will continually pull in new articles in an easy, clean format. When you have time to spare, you can quickly and easily catch up on articles from your favorite publications right there in Feedly or one-click open them on the respective website. There’s also easy sharing to Facebook, Twitter, etc – and yes, even Pocket! Feedly is available in your browser and via app in the iOS and Android stores, so you can browse the news from your desk or on the go!

3) Tweetdeck

This is really only applicable if you have a Twitter account, but then again what PR professional doesn’t? is just fine for the average user, but I would highly recommend using Tweetdeck, which is currently available only for use on a desktop. Tweetdeck, which is owned by Twitter, pulls in different feeds – your Twitter timeline, your tweets, your favorites, retweets, etc. into a single screen. Where it gets really great is that you can customize with lists or streams of current clients or even reporters or members of the media with whom you have a good relationship. That way you can stay on top of what’s going on rather than having to rely on catching it in your timeline or checking individual profiles. Here in the DC office, we have a slick new TV with Tweetdeck set up on it, allowing us to monitor Twitter feeds for clients and industry news sites, as well as reporters we have relationships with.

So there you go, three helpful apps that give PR professionals a bit more control in their lives. What apps do you rely on to stay on top of social media and news?


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RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing PR and strategic marketing for innovators in the technology, public sector, and healthcare markets.