This weekend, I received an email from Trendwatching, the monthly trends newsletter (you can sign up here).
The November topic itself interested me; it being about “Presumers” – a term for the consumers who want to engage with products and services pre-launch. Passionately supporting, pushing, promoting and sometimes even funding brands, these are the people giving love to the products and services before the mainstream launch, or even before they’re fully conceived.
The piece itself is well worth a read. I enjoyed thinking about how much the concept of “early adopters” (as brands used to talk about, and try to reach) has moved on; for an age where brands have so much more of a direct voice with a wider consumer audience. And it struck me that really, Presumers are the natural result of more consumer opportunity to converse direct with brands. You will inevitably get the “pick me please!” consumers, who want more direct engagement with their chosen products and services.
But what really got me thinking was how Trendwatching so efficiently delivered their monthly trend to me – and how much alignment there was with a well-delivered news story.
It used to be really important for public relations agencies to help brands to create compelling “stories” for their communications campaigns; it was the key to getting your clients media coverage. Identifying and telling the right stories is still hugely important in PR of course, but in this media-rich universe, it’s also about working it as hard as possible, to really get the stories out there…
More than ever, anyone delivering a story has to think about optimum timing. It should no longer be for brands, just about issuing a story/news for the next day’s papers, or being aware of the editorial deadlines of the weekly trade publications. It is now as much a case of utilising a social media and online strategy to drive that story to the national/print press agenda, as it is co-ordinating an offline strategy with a faster-moving online strategy.
It is also about making the information really easily shared. Going back to the Trendwatching monthly trend. Trendwatching put together a PowerPoint presentation (that mainstay of the media and marketing worlds) and shared it on Slideshare. It created a 1-minute infographic, for those who wanted it bite-size and/or visual. When I checked Twitter, of course the “Presumers” piece had been tweeted. When I checked Linked In, the piece had of course been shared there. All at the same time as the email newsletter had hit inboxes. Very slick.
So Trendwatching’s content distribution got me thinking; and reminded me about what the best PR campaigns do… Yes, PR is about creating news around your client’s product and service. And making that as relevant and newsworthy as possible to the right audience, is as huge part of our job. But increasingly, so too is distributing the news in the right way. Taking the newsworthy content we create and making it as accessible as possible, via the most appropriate routes.
That’s what creates cut-through in this cluttered space, and that’s what gets PR bang for your buck.