Popular culture is at the center of our society.
There’s no running from it.
There always has been and will be push back against it, calling it trivial or for the shallow-minded or generally too mainstream to encompass “the times.”
But I think that most of the time people are just looking at one-part of the picture when they make that argument.
Being aware of what’s happening around you and what the masses are into — whether you find it trivial or not — provides context (think: historical), while you’re living in the moment.
Pop culture also works as a great advertising strategy to keep you and your brand relevant.
Here are five tips on keeping yourself up-to-date.
1. Linger on social media, and be aware of its appeal.
This easily is the most obvious, but social media is one of the quickest ways to get information.
It’s important to know how different social media forms appeal to different demographics, such as age groups. For example, Facebook, while having the most users, increasingly appeals to older generations, while Generation Z has begun to move away from it.
In real life application, my 14-year-old brother (Gen Z) gets most of his pop culture information from Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube. I’m a millennial; I get almost all of my news from Twitter and YouTube, which I literally watch all day. Neither of us are active on Facebook.
2. Sign up for some email digests.
The first thing I check in the morning is my personal email, work email, and work Slack.
Journalistic and PR practice involves writing headlines as if they were tweets, where you get the entire point across in a limited number of characters. You can get a fair amount of information from spending a couple of seconds looking at your email digest in the morning.
In a similar vein, many news sites and media outlets have an option for setting up push notifications to receive alerts when a breaking story is posted.
Use your best discretion, but I recommend subscribing to both of these. At this point, I must admit, I’ve signed up for too many email digests and push notifications. I’ll fix this, but one or two emails a day shouldn’t inundate you.
3. Listen to podcasts.
You can find podcasts on literally every topic, whether you want a comedy advice column or murder mysteries (like every editor in PRWeb editorial). Topics also tend to be well-researched in most well-produced podcasts.
Podcasts aren’t for everyone – if you’re not an auditory learner it may be harder for you to follow them. I listen to segmented parts from the ones I enjoy on YouTube, which has made listening immensely easier for me.
4. Start actively participating on forums.
Almost every website has a forum, and it’s a great way to figure out what’s relevant to your current interests. Tip: Don’t get caught up in meandering conversations, you may miss the meat of the information.
The key to keeping up with forums is to get over your inhibitions regarding posting. Start actively participating in the conversation. They even have anonymous forums that you can participate in, but I recommend growing some thick skin and treading lightly there.
I used to linger a lot in the Blur forums, when they existed, and now I wish I was more proactive, as Graham Coxon often would respond to posters with relevant questions.
5. Share your interests and listen to what others have to say.
Not every piece of information needs to come from the internet.
After my 6 a.m. start time, most information is disseminated to me through coworkers. My housemate claims all of her information about pop culture comes from me and her boyfriend.
Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to just get your information from other people, so I highly recommend listening.
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Savannah Tanbusch is a team lead and editor for PRWeb. She spends a lot of her free time thinking about dogs and playing video games. Follow her at @tanbusch.