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.
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.