Read, read, and read some more!
I'm always reading something.
Books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, tweets, you name it.
The crux is, you can't expect to get yourself or your business featured in any publication if you don't read it. You're certainly not going to win any editor brownie points if you pitch in an idea that had already been covered two weeks earlier!
You don't have to give the postman a hernia or turn your eyes square by subscribing to every magazine under the sun*, just think about four or five outlets where you'd love to see your business mentioned and become an active reader of those. Is there one particular journalist who regularly writes about your line of work, or is there a recurring section in a newspaper or magazine that you or your business would be a perfect fit for? It's really not rocket science (unless you're the PR for NASA), and yet it's always a frequent bugbear of journalists when they're listing their PR do's and don'ts.
*the Readly app is a brilliant resource for accessing thousands of different newspapers & magazines in one place for a monthly subscription.
Reading, watching, and listening to current news items, trends reports, or newly released research, is also a great way to get the creative juices flowing. If you can find a way to link your business to whatever might be making the news; from a new film or TV series to the growth in popularity of artisan food & drink, you could be onto a quick win.
And don't discount the local press. Remember good PR is about raising awareness, but you also want to reach & engage with the people who might actually buy from you or use your services, and that's much more likely to be your local community. Check out your local business magazines and put yourself, or someone in your team forward for any profile/business-related features as well as keeping them up-to-date on your business news.