Not too long ago, the only way for corporations to influence news was for their PR people to issue a press release (intended for reporters only) or hit the phones to talk up friendly journalists. The ultimate goal was to get some magazine or newspaper to write a story. If a company was lucky, they got a positive mention in an article that appeared weeks or months later.

The news cycle has completely morphed in recent years. Now press releases appear in real-time on millions of desktops. Bloggers comment on product announcements immediately. Magazines and newspapers are still important, but now the value is more for adding context to the news than breaking stories. Corporate PR people need to understand what the changing news cycle means to their communications efforts.

In the old days, businesspeople could remain current by reading three things: a daily newspaper, a general business magazine and appropriate trade press. Now to keep on top of their work, businesspeople need to be able to search and browse premium news services.