State of B2B SaaS Investing with Mike Fitzgerald, High Alpha


In this special episode of SaaS Half Full, host Lindsey Groepper sits down for a fireside chat at BLASTmedia HQ with Mike Fitzgerald, Partner at High Alpha — a venture studio and VC firm specializing in early-stage B2B Saas companies. 

2021 saw an influx of VC money poured into scaling SaaS companies and higher valuations than ever before. Fast-forward to Q1 2022, which saw a nearly 40% decline in investment deals in the sector coupled with signs of a pending economic recession. Mike visited BLASTmedia HQ to talk about what’s causing the changing B2B SaaS investment landscape and signals to look for in your SaaS business to drive decisions during an economic slowdown.

Then (2021) vs. Now (2022)

Before examining what has contributed to today’s downward shift, Mike delves into what drove the 2021 investment influx: cheap money and sky-high public-company valuations. 

“[Those two things] are markers for our proxies in the way that we would think about investing in a company, because if public companies are valued at 20 times revenue, then I can justify paying ten times revenue for your new growth business when you have some revenue,” said Mike. “In an environment like 2021 with money being cheap and valuations being high in public companies…I’m making long-term bets.”

When valuations are high and interest rates are low, investors base their bets on what the portfolio company will do in the next 24-36 months in terms of growth, not immediate gains in the next 12 months. 

On the flip side, the start of 2022 brought these two proxies down to earth. Valuations are now based more on profitability versus growth, and interest rates have soared. As a result, investors are looking at shorter-term gains and positive signals in the next 6-12 months from investment. 

Don’t Panic

When signs of a recession surface, a natural reaction is to halt spending and cut costs. While this may help some SaaS companies get in front of a recession, Mike cautions against buying into the sky-is-falling mentality too quickly and instead advises you read the signals inside your business, starting with pipeline and closed new business. 

Success in those factors is what Mike sees in High Alpha portfolio companies that he believes will perform well in a recessionary environment. And while he understands SaaS companies will have to make some cost-cutting moves, he also recognizes each business is unique.

“I don’t think you can apply [cutting spending] universally,” said Mike. “It’s going to be more difficult to raise money. It’s going to be more difficult to borrow money. You may indeed have some customers who go out of business. Those are all cautionary things, but you have to read the signals of your business in this particular economy.”

Listen to Episode 329 of SaaS Half Full for more of Mike’s insights.

PR to Reach a Product Led Growth and Developer Audience

Product-led growth (PLG) models have exploded into the SaaS industry, with tech brands like Slack, Airtable and Calendly becoming critical components of our new hybrid working environment. Defined by Openview Partners, who coined the term, PLG is an end user-focused growth model that relies on the product itself as the primary driver of customer acquisition, conversion and expansion. It’s no surprise, then, that PLG brands make up over half of the companies on the 2021 Cloud 100 list.

Developers are the backbone of this model, as these pros build, ship out and improve upon the platforms we use every day. As a marketer or PR professional, if you’re looking to reach developers, you’ll need to keep PLG’s tenets in mind to convince and convert this savvy (and skeptical!) audience. 

Skip the buzzwords and go straight to the results 

Software developers are experts. They’re deep into the complexities of their own software and will undoubtedly be aware of the challenges and opportunities available to others in their field. 

If marketers are building external copy for a dev audience, take a red pen to any mention of buzzwords like world’s first, unprecedented, life-changing, or new paradigm. We’ve all seen late-night infomercials make outrageous promises. The importance of avoiding this dials up to a ten for developers. 

Instead, author Adam DuVander told TechCrunch how successful messaging to developers includes, “clear documentation, help getting started and use cases to spark creativity.” The quicker we are to the point, the faster devs will dive in and tinker. 

This means one of the common aspects of PR strategies today, contributed thought-leader content, might not be the best approach to getting in front of your developer audience. These types of pieces might be too wordy or read as promotional. 

But I’m not saying devs don’t want to hear your thought leader’s perspective. We need to reevaluate where the messaging is going. 

Involve yourself in the (real) community 

Look beyond the go-to channels to find your dev audience.

Press release wires have their own value, but issuing through PRNewswire and sharing a post on LinkedIn isn’t going to be enough to drive engagement. We’re not talking about underground, Matrix-style hubs, but whether on Twitter, in subreddits, Stack Overflow or DZone communities and Discord channels, you’ve got to dig deep into these communities to understand the day-to-day. This is where you should start having conversations. 

And, once you’ve found your niche, your SME’s own voice won’t be enough to check the box. To alleviate any concerns about messaging being overly promotional, put your own customer use cases front and center and have them speak candidly.

This could look like coordinating a webinar where your core buyer sees and hears their problems unfold from the experience of another. You could also tap your customers for media opportunities where they talk about the best practices and tools, like your own tech, that help them do great work. Do this time and time again, though, as your dev audience is going to need proof.

Take the feedback in stride

If you’re a PLG company trying to reach developers, you already recognize the value of feedback on the path to improvement. But, it’s easy to forget this mindset if your team gets negative feedback. Celebrate that as a win too.

Be mindful of what worked and what didn’t: Was the use case clear, or did we offer value? Are we engaging in the right channel? Do we have a community of partners who can help us educate and amplify the initiative? 

And, like a developer does, it’s time to move forward and improve. 
Want to know how BLASTmedia can help you determine your product-led growth PR strategy? Contact Lindsey Groepper for more details!

SaaS Acquisition News: 3 PR Strategies to Consider

Acquisitions are an exciting, yet uncertain, time for any SaaS company. They often involve complex transitions focused on aligning internal and external messaging to tell a cohesive brand story. Used correctly, PR serves as a critical tool for bridging the gap to a successful acquisition announcement, amplifying the news to new investors, stakeholders and customers. 

Given ample time to prepare for the announcement, your PR team can develop an effective PR strategy around your goals. For example, suppose you’re interested in getting in the room with investors. In that case, the team may focus on earning top-tier coverage. Or, if you’d like to reach prospective customers, they may target trade outlets to highlight your growth plans.

Whatever the agreed-upon strategy might be, your PR team will offer recommendations on whether to pitch the news as an exclusive, share under embargo ahead of the announcement, or execute day-of pitching. 

Here’s a closer look at three strategies for announcing an acquisition and the challenges and benefits accompanying them:

Offering an Exclusive

Why pitch the news as an exclusive? You’ve been working for months to finalize the acquisition details, so what’s the upside to offering a single reporter the opportunity to break the story? “Exclusive” is an enticing word for publications — this strategy allows your team to attract interest from a top-tier or national outlet while controlling the messaging.

On the other hand, an exclusive may reduce the likelihood of other top-tier publications covering the announcement and impact the total coverage due to a lack of early access. 

Pitching Under Embargo

While an exclusive targets one media contact, embargo pitching refers to sharing the news with several reporters before the announcement date. Within an embargoed pitch, your PR team should only include enough information to entice reporters to request an interview or additional details and commit to an embargo date — the date when the acquisition announcement will be made public.

While the rule of thumb for embargo pitching is 48-72 hours ahead of the announcement, this timeline can be extended to a week or more depending on the target outlets and if your team offers an exclusive first. 

Embargo pitching can garner more media coverage in the long run, providing reporters with the time needed to conduct interviews and gather outside information to run a story. But you run the risk of a publication breaking the embargo, so it’s important to consider the implications of pursuing this strategy. 

Executing Day-Of Pitching

Regardless of your acquisition announcement’s goals, day-of pitching should be a part of your PR team’s strategy. A day-of pitch is shared at the same time you issue your announcement and should include everything a reporter needs to cover the news. These pitches may result in an interview request, a posting of your announcement press release, or a feature or mention in the publication.

The good thing about day-of pitching is your PR team can control the timing and message around the announcement, but reporters might not cover the news due to time constraints or other editorial obligations. 

Well, it’s finally game time. Your PR team is ready to execute a winning PR strategy around the announcement of your acquisition of another company.

As the team schedules interviews, prepares briefing sheets for your spokespeople, and monitors and shares coverage, make sure to align your internal team with talking points and encourage them to share the news on social media. 

Want to know more about the strategies driving your acquisition announcement? Check out our ebook on how to use PR to control and propel the message surrounding your acquisition of another company.

When To Set a PR Strategy Announcing the Acquisition of a Company

You courted potential prospects, deliberated with your team and made a final decision. It’s official: you’re making an acquisition!

Now what?

A lot goes into a communication strategy when you’re announcing the acquisition of another company. Your SaaS company’s PR strategy is arguably one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. This strategy will help your company amplify the news of the acquisition you just made to all of your stakeholders — from securing coverage in industry-focused publications that speak to your customers and prospects, to grabbing mentions in M&A-focused outlets that potential investors might read.

To ensure this announcement goes off without a hitch, here’s when — and why — to tell your PR firm about the companies you’re acquiring.

When and why should I tell my PR team about a potential acquisition?

The short answer is “as soon as you know.” After all, there’s no such thing as too much prep time. The good news is that you likely have an NDA with your PR firm, so giving them an early heads up — sometimes even when you just hear whispers of a potential deal — will set them up for success.

The acquisition process can move very quickly after the deal is solidified, and you don’t want your PR team left in the dust. Even before the details are ironed out, your PR team can begin devising an announcement strategy, drafting a press release outline, and identifying potential media targets — all things they’ll build upon once the details are finalized. If you wait too long to tell them, you run the risk of rushing both the strategy and outreach process. And there’s nothing worse than losing out on coverage because you just didn’t give the media enough time to care — or your PR team enough time to think about why reporters should care.

For example, our team was flagged of a potential acquisition at the end of May. Immediately, we jumped on calls with the company executives to talk about the “why” behind the acquisition and gain some insight into what it meant for the market. Armed with this information, we prepared a press release outline and FAQ document and began discussing an announcement strategy. 

Nearly a month and a half later in July, we were ready for the big day. Because we had time to prepare a strategy, assets and talk-tracks, we could focus entirely on pitching the big news to the right reporters — with enough time for them to write a story. It resulted in 20+ hits during announcement week on target industry and financial trade outlets, alongside a feature in the Wall Street Journal.

Plan your SaaS PR strategy early

When a company acquires another company, it’s something people should know about! As your acquisition approaches, keep your PR strategy in mind so you can ensure your big news gets to the right people with the right message.

Want to know more about announcing your acquisition of another company? Check out our ebook, “Your Guide to Announcing Your Acquisition of Another Company,” to learn how to use PR to control and propel the message surrounding your acquisition of another company.

Securing Coverage in The Wall Street Journal

With more than two million subscribers and 12 million monthly website visitors, the 131-year-old The Wall Street Journal consistently ranks as one of the top media outlets in the world. As the pre-eminent American business newspaper (not to mention its significant, complementary digital presence), companies in every industry covet Journal coverage.

While brands like Apple, Google, Oracle and Tesla are frequent recipients of attention from editors, name recognition isn’t a prerequisite for getting mentioned in The Wall Street Journal — something BLASTmedia has consistently demonstrated for our clients.

As a B2B SaaS PR agency, we have our fair share of clients with eyes set on Journal coverage, among other national publications. This is true for those actively fundraising or gearing up for a public offering (for obvious reasons), as well as those who wish to raise their profile within highly competitive spaces and leverage Journal coverage for greater attention and leads.

If your company aims to get mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, here are things to keep in mind.

It’s a Courtship, Not a Full-Court Press

Patience will be your best companion on the road to the Journal. It’ll take some time to build a relationship with an editor who covers your industry. Is it possible to get a Journal editor’s attention on your first try? Sure. Anything’s possible. People do win the lottery, after all. But is it likely? Not at all.

Journal staff are at the top of their game, and they have the luxury of being particularly choosy about their sources. If you want to be one of those sources, you had better demonstrate knowledge of who covers what and why. Don’t expect to get a response most of the time. This is the long game. Your job is to be helpful to them, not the other way around.

Know of a great industry story no one is covering? Pass it along. It doesn’t matter if it’s not about your company. A source that can only offer one kind of story isn’t much of a source at all, and the Journal isn’t interested in covering a story just because someone else is covering it.

Keep at it, and once you’ve caught an editor’s interest, prepare for several conversations. It’s not uncommon for a Journal editor (incidentally, this is the case with other top publications like The New York Times, too) to spend a phone call or two simply getting to know the company and whomever you’re positioning as a spokesperson. These calls will almost certainly be on the record but are more akin to background research for the actual interview. Essentially, the editor needs to suss out whether or not there’s a Journal-worthy perspective.

This was certainly the case with BLASTmedia client Credly, which spoke with editor Douglas Belkin three times before being included in the Journal’s coverage of higher education during the pandemic, a placement that continues to draw attention to Credly months after publication.

How would you want to be treated?

While you’re doing your due diligence and demonstrating an aptitude for Journal editors’ beats and interests, make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by treating them like, well, just typical journalists. They’re not. Top of their game, remember?

Resist the temptation to BCC or mail-merge them along with however-many other contacts. This will completely defeat the purpose of the time you’ve invested in crafting the right approach to the right editor. Take the time to contact them individually. The potential payoff is worth the extra effort.

And, please, don’t be cute. Unless you have a relationship with the editor, steer clear of the personal commentary. They may have tweeted about how much they liked the WandaVision finale; it doesn’t mean they want to read about it in an email from you.

Don’t take my word for it. As the Journal’s Ann-Marie Alcantara said last year: “Doing all the tricks people do on your inbox, like putting something personal on this. Please don’t. It’s not a good time. And we all have limited time. Don’t mess with my time that way. It’s usually always a pitch that’s unrelated to my beat, and they’re just trying to catch my attention, and I don’t appreciate it because it’s like, you didn’t even pitch me something relevant to what I’m reporting on, and now you made me hate whatever I supposedly liked in the subject.”


Bring Your Data — and Your Friends

If you’re not sure if you have a story to bring to the Journal’s attention, consider what kind of data you can talk about and which customer relationships you can leverage. The Wall Street Journal loves a good data story, but your internal metrics won’t cut it. (The Journal isn’t the right target for a momentum release.) You’ll need data from analysts or academics, or from a study you’ve commissioned from a well-known research firm.

If you do have compelling data that’s paired with a noteworthy stance — let’s say, something that runs counter to a prevailing industry narrative or a shot across the bow of a big, entrenched player in your space — you might be onto something. Presumably, your company has something to say about what sets it apart. Get credible data to back up your position, and use it to your advantage.

Another way BLASTmedia has had success with the Journal is by bringing in a client’s high-profile customers to help tell the story. While our client Moogsoft may not be a household name across the consumer space, their customers American Airlines and Fannie Mae sure are. By leveraging that name recognition, we earned two prominent pieces of Journal coverage for Moogsoft and its intelligent observability platform. 

With rare exception, the Wall Street Journal won’t cover your company for routine news, product announcements and modest growth. Being able to offer surprising data, tangible (not potential) results or support from high-profile customers will go a long way toward securing an editor’s interest.

If you’re in B2B SaaS and the Journal is a media target for your company, the process might feel a bit daunting. Remember, it’s going to take time and effort. If you’re on your own or your current agency isn’t pushing you to unearth better data, sharper points of view and stories from your best-known customers, BLASTmedia can help. Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn more about how we approach media relations with publications like The Wall Street Journal and hundreds of others.

How AI Application is Impacting the Future of IT

According to a 2020 survey by Tata Consulting Services, in 12 out of the 13 major industry verticals, IT is the most frequent user of AI and more than 46% of IT organizations at large corporations have incorporated AI into their work portfolios.

Just like any type of technology, AI comes with its own risks. However, as AI continues to evolve and expand, circumstances like the pandemic have made the benefits clear in the world of IT. 

How are the applications of AI currently poised to impact the future of IT? Thought leaders from Moogsoft and InterVision provide insights on how AI applications are already allowing IT teams to increase effectiveness and add business value:  

AI in a Self-Healing IT Infrastructure

Imagine you’re running late and sprinting through a busy airport to catch a plane. Your heart rate has dramatically increased and when you get settled on the plane, it won’t go back to its normal rate. This soon could turn into a fatal problem. In this instance, the body should be trained to heal on its own and get back to its normal rate. In this way, the body is similar to a self-healing IT infrastructure, which allows IT teams to quickly get back on track by fixing issues before they become a million-dollar problem.

When a system shuts down due to software malfunction for an extended amount of time, that company loses an average of $301,000-$400,000 per hour. IT and DevOps practitioners, now more than ever, must do whatever they can to keep systems up and running and stay under budget. The pressure is on, but if they don’t have access to the proper tools and technology, this makes their job extremely difficult. Through automating the incident management process, a self-healing IT infrastructure allows IT professionals to boost their productivity and focus on building new products and developments which in return will increase revenue.

“The idea of a self-healing IT infrastructure doesn’t have to be a distant vision,” explained Adam Frank, VP of Product and Design at Moogsoft in a recent piece for “In fact, the democratization of cloud computing and advanced data science has put the required observability technology within reach of teams of any size with any budget.” 

In the article, Frank goes on to explain the biggest advantage of using AI in IT: it allows developers to operate less and innovate more. IT teams, just like the rest of us, have faced many challenges this past year. The more that can be taken off their plate, the more effectively they can do their job. A self-healing infrastructure is a prime example of AI opening endless doors for the IT industry.

AI in Data Cloud Management

Another way AI is positioned to make IT teams more effective is the use of this technology in data cloud management.

“Data intelligence, or the use of data to glean useful information, allows a business to both increase revenue and their position in the market,” explained Jeff Ton, Strategic IT Advisor at InterVision, in a bylined article for InformationWeek. “But the continual multiplication of data and its sources are making an already substantial challenge even more laborious. [The] emphasis on data is where artificial intelligence (AI) can play an especially useful role.”

Ton goes on to explain how AI can accelerate business time to value. “By leveraging the cloud and AI for the storage, collection and analysis of data, a business can monetize information in a fast, effective manner. The cloud is perfectly positioned to assist organizations in AI because of its unique ability to provide businesses with flexibility, agility, scalability and speed that other models of infrastructure simply can’t achieve at the same level. If the core of a business isn’t managing a data center, then the cloud is all the more appealing, since it allows IT teams to focus on the value-driving projects that will truly make a difference for employees and customers. AI is one of many innovations to get there, and the cloud is the foundation upon which to enable AI to do its work.” 

The use of artificial intelligence within the IT sector and other industries is only going to grow with the global value of the AI market expected to surpass $89 billion annually by 2025. Want to join the conversation around the future of artificial intelligence? Contact Lindsey Groepper at BLASTmedia to find out how our team can help!

SaaS Marketing Perspectives: Bradley Davis, CEO of Podchaser

Whether it’s true crime, catching up on the latest news, or taking advice from your favorite self-help advocate, there is a podcast for everything. In fact, as of February 2021, there are more than 1.7 million podcasts. As our clients dive deeper into podcasts, either hosting or playing a guest role, I wanted to connect with someone who knows the ins and outs of podcasts. That’s why for our next SaaS Marketing Perspectives I connected with Bradley Davis, co-founder, and CEO of Podchaser. Bradley talks about the value of podcasts, recommendations on what to look out for when creating a podcast or being featured on a podcast, and shares his ultimate dream to be Jeff Probst, host of Survivor. 

KATIE: In a few sentences, what is Podchaser?

BRADLEY: Podchaser is a podcast database that aggregates all the fragmented data in the industry in one spot. 

KATIE: What value do podcasts bring to companies? Which would you recommend first for a business: starting its own podcast or working to be a guest on other podcasts? 

BRADLEY: Podcasts are a unique opportunity to let ideas breathe for 30+ minutes. This allows for a company to show off its brand and image with unprecedented depth. I definitely recommend being a guest on other podcasts first, it is a much lower barrier to entry and is a good way to test the medium. 

KATIE: If a company is thinking about creating its own podcast, what are some things they should keep in mind?

BRADLEY: There is generally a direct correlation between time/effort invested and success of a podcast. There are nearly 2 million podcasts out there, so creating one people want to listen to requires excellent content. I think it’s also important to have a solid idea of why you are creating a podcast. If it’s to sell x widgets, it likely won’t work. If it’s to sell a brand or vision to then sell x widgets, it may work really well. 

KATIE: Do you have any recommendations on what businesses should look for when evaluating whether or not to participate in a podcast (as a guest)?

BRADLEY: To get the plug out of the way, our Pro tools allow you to examine reach, listener demographics, and chart position for all podcasts, so this is the most efficient way to evaluate an opportunity. However, pure reach isn’t the only thing to evaluate. Depending on the initiative, a podcast with 200 listeners that is targeted to your exact goals could be a better opportunity than a podcast with 2,000 listeners that is less targeted. It’s also handy to use Podchaser’s credits system to look at past guests to see if you are aligning with the right cluster. 

KATIE: What metrics are currently available for podcasters? Are these metrics public or easily accessible?

BRADLEY: There are many metrics available to podcasters. Generally, a podcaster’s hosting platform is a great place to start. Additionally, there are analytics tools like Chartable that can be useful. These metrics are not publicly available but are easy to access for the podcaster.

KATIE: Outside of listenership, are there other metrics companies should consider before going on a podcast?

BRADLEY: It can be useful to look at a podcast’s social media following (though this can be tricky, since some podcasts buy followers, so look out for engagement). 

KATIE: How can podcast owners use these metrics to create better content? 

BRADLEY: It’s good to focus on drop-off rate so you can experiment with changing up the format of the show to potentially retain listeners. 

KATIE: We’ve seen a couple of thought leaders in the B2B space start leveraging Patreon to share unique content with listeners. Is this something you foresee continuing in the future? 

BRADLEY: Yes, I think tools like Supercast and Glow that are more specific to the podcast format will continue to grow. However, I think these are more intended for a mature podcast with a hungry audience. In general, I think subscriptions will increase as ads decrease in podcasting.

KATIE: Do you expect marketing teams will invest more into podcasting into 2021 and beyond? Why/why not? 

BRADLEY: For sure. It’s such an efficient means to accomplish branding and advertising goals. The only thing limiting spend is tools available from the industry, but there are plenty of smart people building those tools. 

KATIE: What’s your dream job outside of software (dolphin trainer, lead guitarist in a rock band, etc.)? 

BRADLEY: I honestly just want to be Jeff Probst. 

Interested in hearing from other marketing leaders in SaaS? Check out the SaaS Half Full Podcast where BLASTmedia President Lindsey Groepper takes a deep dive into the strategies behind companies like Zendesk, Sprout Social and Moz.  

5 Awards B2B SaaS Companies Can Use to Showcase Company Culture

The best SaaS companies are redefining what it means to be a top workplace by showing that they invest in their people. Awards opportunities focused on company culture can help showcase those efforts. 

Winning a company culture award can help SaaS companies differentiate themselves from others in the market — both when it comes to hiring new talent and engaging current employees.

Awards focused on company culture can help attract talent researching a new place to work. Being acknowledged for your culture also helps elevate fears hires potentially have about the company. When companies are recognized with company culture awards, it attracts better job candidates.  

Awards that highlight your company culture can also help with retention. Depending on the award, the application process can allow employees, who might not otherwise have the chance, to share their experience. The application process can also sometimes provide new hires the opportunity to learn more about your company. When SaaS companies win culture-focused awards, it gives your organization something to celebrate. These types of awards can contribute to a sense of pride and can even provide a morale boost.  

Interested in using your company’s award program to support recruiting and retention efforts? Here’s a look at a few company culture awards we recommend considering.

1. Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators – Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. This award is an international award that is open to companies worldwide. The deadline is fastly approaching! To be considered for this award, you must complete all requirements by February 26, 2021.

2. Top Workplaces – Top Workplaces includes a number of national award programs including culture excellence awards. Top Workplaces is associated with 50+ media outlets — including The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune — that receive advance access to the list of winners for a chance to publish the lists in print and online.

3. Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For – Conducted by Great Place to Work, the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list provide companies around the world with the opportunity to be recognized as a great company to work for. This award is open to companies located within the U.S. with at least ten part-time/full-time employees. Applications for this award are not yet available for 2020, but the submission deadline is typically in the fall. We recommend checking the website in June for updates. 

4. Inc. Best Workplaces Award – The Inc. Best Workplaces Award celebrates companies who love what they do, whether that be in an office or remote location. In order to be considered for Inc. Best Workplace, you must be located in the U.S. with at least ten employees, and have been in business for at least two years. The award submission period is closed for 2021, but expect to see this award re-open in December 2021 for the next calendar year.

5. Powderkeg Tech Culture Awards – Powderkeg’s Tech Culture Awards provide SaaS companies worldwide the opportunity to share what makes their culture unique, earn national recognition and attract even more top talent. Applications for this award are not yet available, but the submission deadline is typically in the fall. 

Interested in building an award program to support your hiring and talent retention efforts? Contact Lindsey Groepper to learn more about BLASTmedia’s award services.

Turning Emerging Trends Into PR Coverage: Trendjacking

There are many ways to win through reactive pitching, including researching and reacting to a breaking or developing industry news story, or even to specific competitor news. But, what if there aren’t any industry-related announcements? 

Even if there isn’t news, there are always trends, especially in the fast-moving, constantly-changing field of SaaS. “Trends” is a broad term used to describe topics being discussed by significant industry stakeholders, including your customers or prospects, or subject matter consistently receiving coverage from media. A vertically broad, present-day example of a trend is sustaining a culture and supporting effective task workflow while entire businesses work remotely. 

After identifying a trend, trendjacking comes into play. Trendjacking — providing commentary or insights from an industry thought leader on emerging trends — enhances your thought leader’s prominence in the field. Generating thought leadership coverage on rising trends also showcases your spokesperson or company’s expertise on the topic — enticing potential stakeholders. 

Receiving coverage via trendjacking is incredibly beneficial for brand awareness but is a difficult PR strategy to implement. A lot has to fall into place to run a successful campaign. Here’s what you need to achieve results and turn an emerging trend into PR coverage:  

Preparation, Research and Timing 

Preparation, research and timing are always crucial when conducting media outreach as they’re a successful campaign’s foundational elements. But, when trendjacking, those special PR ingredients need even more emphasis. 

As PR professionals, we should already know the ins and outs of our clients’ businesses, their opinions on specific market trends and topics, and their spokespeople’s interests and voices. This gives us the knowledge to monitor and research pertinent trending topics, identify potential media opportunities and respond accordingly. 

In SaaS PR, trends move fast. If you don’t capitalize right away, you’ve missed your opportunity — and, most likely, a competitor has taken advantage instead. Timing is everything: you need to be equipped to capitalize on identified trends and talking points before they arise, then mobilize quickly when they finally surface. To ensure a fast-moving process, prepare drafted and approved quotes and relevant company data to lend insights on trends and topics. You’ll have attractive materials ready to pitch at a moment’s notice. 

Take a Bold Stance 

When commenting on an ongoing trend, be bold. Quotes or insights from thought leaders should take a real stance or convey something different than what’s already been published. Repeating common knowledge or the same information a competitor said won’t get a reporter’s attention. Thought leaders must cut through the noise with a statement worth exploring. 

Other ways to stand out and be bold include insightful survey, customer or software data as well as customer stories related to the emerging trend. Like a quote from a thought leader, the data must be insightful or contrarian to what’s already out there. 

When referencing customer stories in relation to a specific trend, you need to highlight what makes the story special. Anecdotal evidence adds value to a reporter’s story and may provide helpful insight into posed questions about the topic. Thought leadership quotes, customer stories and data help a media target connect the dots between your product, your expertise and the overall industry trend. 

Media Targets

A common mistake PR professionals make when reactive pitching is focusing on members of the media who’ve already covered the topic. Why would the same reporter write about 5G’s impact on telemedicine two separate times? They most likely wouldn’t. 

Instead, pick publications and reporters who have yet to cover the specific trend but do cover the overall topic or industry. Using the same 5G and telemedicine example, research those who cover consumer, enterprise or general technology as well as healthcare and healthcare technology. A wide range of reporters may potentially cover the emerging trend, but make sure they haven’t specifically written about it already. 

Does trendjacking sound like a necessary strategy for your SaaS brand? Check out “The Reactive PR Playbook for SaaS Brands” to see your next steps.