How you can leverage and develop trends to secure media coverage, inform strategic campaign decisions and build credibility as an industry insider
Whether it's to secure media coverage, inform strategic campaign decisions or build your credibility as an industry insider, trends are a powerful resource to harness. Jennifer Hawkins, Founder and President of Hawkins International PR and Catherine Colford, Managing Director of sister communications agency, Maverick Creative, have made it their business to be in front of the curve when it comes to identifying and developing trends. Their clients benefit from the global lens they apply to all their campaigns and in this episode, they share some tips on how you can do so too.
Here is a summary of the topics discussed within this podcast episode.
“When you start working with a new client, do a trend audit to understand what has and is impacting their industry. This will enable you to position a more effective strategy as well as leverage opportunities"
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more about leveraging trends for media coverage. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
WHY ARE TRENDS USEFUL WITHIN PR?
They provide you with an opportunity to make your client part of a media or social conversation which is relevant to them and their business goals
By tethering a brand to a trend, it gives you a unique angle to pique a journalist's interest
They provide you with industry context you can apply to the broader campaign strategy and tactics
By identifying industry trends and developments and sharing them with your team and/or client, you're proving you do have your finger on the pulse
WHAT MAKES A TREND?
It's not necessarily about creating 'breaking news' but about finding commonality between sets of information and making that newsworthy. You will generally need at least two or three examples to substantiate an angle as being a trend.
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY POTENTIAL TRENDS?
Read, read and then read some more. Read trade publications relevant to your client/company's industry from around the world to see if there's something developing in another country which you could leverage. Read consumer and trade news beyond your industry or sector to be more knowledgeable about what's happening in the world and whether that has any influence.
Take note of what tastemakers, industry titans and media are saying on social media.
Be curious. Be in the mindset of always absorbing news. If you're closed off, you're going to struggle keeping across industry developments and you'll miss opportunities.
Immerse yourself in the brands you work for as well as their products and offerings. If you understand the brand intimately well, you'll have a better platform to understand how it compares to others in the market and what trend parallels you can draw between them.
Leverage the team around you. If you work in a small team, ensure everyone is sharing information they find. And don't just share information or articles specific to your industry but be mindful of broader industry news. It may not benefit a pitch you're doing that day but it might inspire something later that month.
WHAT DO JOURNALISTS WANT TO SEE FROM A TREND PITCH?
They need to trust what you're saying so reference at least one other example to substantiate your position.
Statistics and data are a great way to validate anecdotes so use them wherever possible.
They want the pitch to be relevant to their target audience and their content requirements so make sure it's customised to their needs and interests.
PR INSIDER TIPS FOR LEVERAGING TREDS
Share industry information with your colleagues and clients. It shows you have your finger on the pulse.
Take note of industry information you find interesting. It may inform an idea or pitch down the track.
When you're reading a trend-related article, take some time to think about how that article may have come to life. What information would the journalist have needed to write it? How do you think it would have been pitched?
Every pitch should be different. Even if you're pitching the same trend idea to different publications, make sure it's customised with language and content that's relevant to each publication's target market and content requirements.
Have strong assets. You'll always need an image but if you can provide statistics, data, videos etc it gives you an extra edge.
Learn more about Trendhawk, a trend forecaster developed by Hawkins International PR and Maverick Creative on what's predicted to happen in the months ahead across a number of different industry and sectors. You might find some inspiration for your next pitch!
If you're interested in working at Hawkins International PR or Maverick Creative, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and a tailored note as to why you want to work with them.
For some extra tips on landing a PR job, click here.