The media is another good source for up-to-date information on your competition. On the Internet, you can read all the latest news releases for your industry on web sites such as Business Wire. At their site, you can search for the latest press releases on company financial results, IPOs, management changes, mergers and acquisitions, and more. A site similar to Business Wire is the PR Newswire web site.
And here are two useful sites for gathering information on competitors. At FindArticles.com and MagPortal.com, you can search more than 300 periodicals, journals, and newswires simultaneously for industry information. In addition, news articles from a comprehensive industry sector list can be found at the Hoover's Online web site.
For more information specific to competing companies, visit your list of competitor's web sites you've created, instead of waiting for the newspapers or trade magazines to pick up their news releases and print them. You'll also find news releases linked to the stock pages for publicly held companies, because they want their latest good news to boost the public's confidence in their stock. You can find these news items at stock tracking sites like Yahoo! Finance and BigCharts. And CorporateInformation is a research site that serves numerous links to corporate profiles, news archives, financial information, and message boards dedicated to that company. Research an industry and you'll be led to industry profiles, news, and more. Research reports, research by state, research by country. It's international, and it's free.
If all this searching and reading the news is too time-consuming, you can choose to pay a clipping service to do the searching for you (see this list of clipping and monitoring services at Yahoo!).