GG’s Ana Altchek explains how companies can authentically incorporate trend stories into their media strategy.
Trend stories cover topics and subjects that cut across a wide swath of companies and issue areas. Whether it’s a story about sustainable food making or the student debt crisis, trend stories create ample opportunity to increase a company’s relevancy as it relates to forces outside themselves.
For many companies seeking to get their brand in the news, latching onto a trend and finding a connection
with it can be a seamless way to get their name out there. However, there may be a lot of companies trying to be part of the trend, and many organizations and companies could be clamoring for that attention.
The best way to stand out in these scenarios is to make an authentic connection with the trend and ensure that connection is unique. A lot of companies may be able to say they’re part of a burgeoning trend, but why are you the leading voice on it? There are a few simple steps to establish your relevancy and become part of a trend:
Before beginning any communications effort, it’s critical to be really intentional about the message you want to convey. This requires in-depth conversations about the key messages at play. What makes our company different? How do we want our audiences to perceive us? Once the messages have been defined, they can be applied to trend story outreach.
These messages can also be important to determining what kinds of trends to try to insert yourself in, and what others to stay away from. Following your guiding values and messages may mean avoiding controversial topics or potentially jumping into a hot-button issue.
Once the messaging is in place, it’s important to create a plan of action. This can include a variety of elements that will guide your success:
– The stories you’ll track in the news
– Trend stories you think we can lead on
– Key spokespeople
– Ways to incorporate messaging into outreach
Planning allows you to be reactive to a trend that you didn’t expect and thoughtfully plan when you can start pitching new and novel trends. It isn’t strategic to jump into a trend for the sake of it. By connecting to a trend story, your messaging becomes a part of something bigger than just your organization; it becomes part of a story that impacts many people, companies, and even industries.
Your pitch isn’t going to go anywhere if it sounds the same as everything else a reporter receives. When trying to successfully latch onto a trend story, it’s important to make your concept stand out. This is essential while connecting to a broader trend.
For example, if you’re trying to position your company in connection with COVID-19 employee protocols, think about how your CEO can offer an opinion that no one else could have because of her work. Taking the time to think creatively mitigates the risk of seeming redundant and overplayed.
If done correctly, pitching trend stories in a creative way can be a critical component of a comprehensive media strategy. Trend stories have the potential to connect with their audience on a deeper level because they carry a sense of familiarity – with these steps, you’ll be able to be part of them.