Folks often ask me how I stay on top of developments in journalism, content and marketing. I'm gratified they think I do!

One way is to listen more than talk when in the presence of really smart people. But the other is to review a few high-value content providers. I subscribe to a bunch of digital and print publications, like Fast Company, Fortune and our nation's major dailies, but I don't do much more than skim and scan the headlines and slugs with any regularity. (I do read my local daily every morning, however). Here's my short list of content I honestly read.

Must-Reads for Marketers

These are my must-read marketing blogs and newsletters:

  • Scott MontyThe Full Monty: Scott Monty is one smart dude, and funny, too. So you should at least be following him on the social channel of your choice (the guy is pretty much everywhere). This weekly round-up from Ford's former global head of digital and multimedia marketing, is a phenomenal overview of content that caught Scott's eye over the last week, so we not only get digests and links to important news/features, but we also get an idea of what matters to one of the industry's leading minds. Free, though you can (and I think should) donate to support the effort.
  • Oracle's Modern Marketing Blog: This blog always delivers a solid mix of tactics and strategy. It focuses on core topics like marketing automation, and social, email and content marketing. I find it especially useful for keeping up with martech. We don't spec martech, but all our big clients use it, and the articles here cover the topic at a high enough level to be relevant to the CMOs I'm chatting with. Also, the CMO Corner section is a good indicator of what top marketing execs are thinking about. Free
  • Christopher S. Penn Blog: I'm not gonna lie: Sometimes Christopher Penn's daily emails are too technical for me to follow. But I look at every one because a) he's a really good writer and b) if he cares about it, I should, too--even if only at a novice level. He's been at this a long time and covers a wide range of topics. He also delivers a bunch of daily content on his Twitter feed, the #the5. Free
  • Ann HandleyMarketing Profs Today: This daily newsletter is the place for how-tos and tactics, but there are some strategy articles and essays that aim for a higher level on the corporate food chain. The mix of content from MP staffers and marketing pros in the wild covers a lot of topics and issues we deal with every day. Definitely read anything by Ann Handley. The daily is also the easiest way to find out about the well-produced webinars and other programs offered by MP. Free

These are my must-read business & news sources:

Though not related directly to marketing, these publications are also must-reads for me. Reading these helps me create the business and global context in which I do my work. It's too easy to market in a bubble, and these reads keep me rooted in the real world.

  • Conor FriedersdorfRecommended Reading: Not a marketing newsletter, but this weekly compendium of articles by Conor Friedersdorf, a writer for The Atlantic, and articles by others that he hand-picks showcases excellent writing and news stories you might have missed. It's a useful read for writers, to be sure, and for anyone who wants to be better informed. $1.99/month
  • Harvard Business Review: There's always something incredibly useful and insightful in every issue, even if it's only the article recaps at the back. The writing and design is so crisp and thoughtful that it's valuable as a model even when the issue topic isn't super relevant. Definitely worth the hefty price tag. $99 for all-access subscription (as of this writing)
  • The Economist: Worth the subscription price for the business and political briefs alone, this extraordinarily well-written news magazine offers a broader world view than most other magazines in the genre. Articles are mostly short and written in plain language. Plain, but not boring. The flair the staff brings to its writing, right down to the subheads, is invigorating and inspirational. Plus, I always come away from reading it with a sense of knowing a little bit more about what's going on in the world outside the marketing department or C-suite. $152/year

We're all busy, but I make the time to review these blogs, newsletters and publications because they provide real value to me and my work. Drop me a line and tell me about your marketing, business and news must-reads.


P.S. Please don't bust my chops for the lack of diversity on this list. Recommend some other folks so I can diversify my list.