There are certain events each year that PR pros typically try to attach their clients to… the Super Bowl, back to school, Black Friday, Cyber Monday… and, of course, predictions for the New Year.
While it’s a good strategy to link your clients’ message with timely events, reporters are often so inundated with these kinds of pitches that it’s hard to stand out.
Network World Senior Editor Brandon Butler notes, “I am frequently pitched on prediction pieces at this time of year. But, it’s something I’m not usually thrilled to write about because it’s difficult to add something novel to the conversation. Most pitches seem to be vendor focused and they boil down to how their product saved the day or how the market they compete in will be so important in the New Year.
“I’m open to innovative ideas, but you have to think about it from the reader’s perspective: Would you click on a story about what you’re pitching? How exciting is it, really? If there are stories that intersect with my cloud beat and really interesting 2015 trends, then that could be a winning formula. But, that’s often a rare thing to find.”
So, what can PR pros do to help their pitches rise to the top?
Facts, figures and findings. These are the three F’s of good supporting pitch material and, especially when pitching predictions, anything that can be substantiated to show why your prediction is a viable option for the New Year can definitely help!
Develop a New Angle
Don’t listen to Mark Twain’s famous quote: “There is no such thing as a new idea.” Try for new! Try for provocative! Try for things that will peak reporters’ interest and help them get clicks. Albeit difficult, these types of “new” predictions will also help showcase true thought leadership if you get there first.
While trying to develop a new angle or something provocative, it’s important to research others’ predictions first. For instance, you may not want to go out debunking a trend that an important analyst in your space has predicted growth for next year. That could alienate a valuable relationship for you and your company / client if your prediction doesn’t take the right tact.
Make it Relevant
Like Butler notes, the pitch has to relate to his beat. So, while you may have a new angle with supporting data, if it isn’t relevant to the journalists you’re pitching, it still won’t fly. This applies to all pitching though, really… not just New Year predictions. It’s PR 101.
Get Someone to Back You Up
Your predictions will be that much more credible if you can get an analyst, customer or partner to back you up and agree that what they’re seeing in the market is in line with your assessment of what’s to come in the New Year. Validation!
What other types of New Year prediction strategies do you find useful at this time of year?