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.

How to Win Big Through Reactive Pitching

Everybody likes a little competition. In PR, reactive pitching is a challenging yet rewarding way to boost brand exposure and get your company’s name in the headlines. 

Reactive pitching encompasses any kind of PR pitch sent to a member of the media in reaction to something else happening in the world. It could be an event, a trend, an announcement or an article. This PR tactic bets on risky factors such as predictions, strong stances and head-to-head competition. If you decide to invest in reactive pitching as a strategy, your company can win big with meaningful coverage.

Not sure how to get in the game? Here are three reactive formations your PR team can use to secure media coverage.

Trendjacking

Every industry follows certain trends. Identifying and acting on these emerging trends is a difficult play but can greatly benefit your company’s reputation as thought leaders in the field. To run the play effectively, look to your thought leaders for comments or insights and prepare quotes ahead of time — timing is everything! Wait too long, and competitors will run past you, scoring coverage long before you can even touch the ball.

Breaking News Event

Be on the lookout for rumors that could eventually dominate news cycles. Data breaches, major weather events and pop culture drama could monopolize the media. Brands that want to participate in these kinds of conversations need to be ready to offer new insights or perspectives. Social media and customized alerts can help you find crucial information on topics within your industry before they become common knowledge. If you gather enough resources before the snap, you can be the first to offer comment or even break the news! 

Competitor Newsjacking

Offering your own reaction to competitor news is a great way to gain coverage. Look for upcoming announcements by monitoring competitors’ social media and blogs, then work with a thought leader within your company to develop a statement. CEOs or other executives can offer insight into how new developments may impact consumers, trends and the industry as a whole. Again, timing is everything. CEOs can be hard to reach for quick statements, so keep a back-up quarterback ready to field requests!

Does reactive PR pitching sound like your kind of game? Come check out “The Reactive PR Playbook for SaaS Brands” to start planning your next play.

Newsworthy Pitches: How to Grab Media Attention

Media relations can set your company apart from others in your space. It can help you sell your story, products and services. A key step in media relations is crafting story ideas and pitching them to journalists.

Criteria for getting a journalist to be interested in a pitch can vary, but one thing remains constant: the pitch must be newsworthy. Unless whatever you’re hoping to pitch also relates to celebrities or political figures, you are likely going to have to work at being newsworthy. Continue reading “Newsworthy Pitches: How to Grab Media Attention”