Just in case you haven`t already seen this, here`s an item off the wires today:
MSN AND PEDIGREE HAVE PARTNERED to produce an informational portal for dog owners, dubbed Dog Central, which will run for 12 months, with content including "Dog Talker," which provides advice on dog behavior, a series of veterinarian articles, and MSN Spaces for both the Talker and Vet series, polls, and a photo gallery where users can submit dog pictures.
You certainly make a great point here. As a PR professional, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to monitor news relevant to your clients.
In addition to that, I also think it's important to follow the social media accounts of journalists you want to get in front of. I was able to score a national piece from a major news station for one of my clients just because I saw the producer had said something related on Twitter.