By: Abby Cousineau
I’m not talking about celebrity or entertainment reporting, I’m talking about the hard, stone-cold facts in the daily news presented in a way that’s actually not boring.
As a public relations student, one thing that has been drilled in my head over and over again is the importance of reading the news. Public relations professionals have to be up to date with current events and trends in order to communicate relevant and newsworthy information to the public. If you are anything like me though, reading the news can be a real bummer, especially when you are pretty much required to skim through the headlines before your morning cup of coffee is even finished. I have found that staying current by reading the news is one of the hardest things for me to do, since I usually don’t have much interest in reading the often dull and depressing “breaking stories.” Checking Twitter and Facebook for my daily dose of news is also a no-go, since I will most definitely get caught up reading updates from my friends and scrolling through random memes and cute animal videos. I was at the point where I thought I would just have to suck it up and get over my hatred for the headlines, but then I discovered the Skimm.
The Skimm is an email newsletter publisher, which delivers popular news to its subscribers’ email on the morning of each business day. The thing about the Skimm is that what ends up in your inbox isn’t just a copy-and-paste version of a news story, but instead a shortened version that is written in a conversational style so it’s actually fun to read. Yep, that’s right…news that is fun to read!
The company, created by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, is specifically targeted at women ages 22-34 and has over 4 million subscribers. Not only is the Skimm owning up to their catch phrase of “making it easier for you to be smarter,” but they are also doing some significant work. According to a NY Mag article, the company is responsible for getting a staggering 95,000 women registered to vote, and their partnership with Rock the Vote actually got more than 110,000 subscribers to register in total. It’s no secret that millennials have a hard time making it to the polls, but the Skimm, which specifically targets this demographic, got thousands of them to sign up. How did they do it? Pretty much the same way they get their subscribers to read the daily news, by breaking down the election into a simple, easy-to-read format and conveying the information in an impartial and interesting way.
Obviously, this company has it down. They know their audience well and they know what they are doing. I never thought news could be so interesting, and I sure am happy that somebody found a way to do it. All I’m saying is that I no longer wake up dreading my time spent scrolling the headlines, I actually wake up and look forward to reading through the news. Staying current just got a little bit easier, and who doesn’t like making their life a little easier?
Abby Cousineau is a junior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. Abby is currently serving her first year on EMU PRSSA E-board as social media director. She was drawn to social media because it allows her to merge her passions of writing and design. You can usually find her outside any time the weather is nice, or exploring the Ann Arbor restaurant scene. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.