4 Tips for Identifying Media Trends

PittsburghWhat’s trending? In Pittsburgh, today’s trends are sunshine, food trucks (we’re behind) and the Pirates’ run at hanging above .500 this season. Staying ahead of trends and being able to forecast topics that will pique journalists’ interest is crucial for PR pros. A media pitch/article idea is only effective if it is timely and worthy of a reporter’s time to pen the story.

So, how can we effectively identify and hook into trends?

  • Twitter: The ultimate source for what’s trending is Twitter. Follow trending hashtags and reporters’ feeds to tailor pitches or piggyback on a topic that is generating buzz.
  • Regular, but respectful, contact with reporters: Some reporters are responsive to short touch-base emails. Dropping a quick line to a reporter you’ve had previous contact with can be very effective for pinpointing what they are working on and how you and your clients can be supportive.
  • Editorial calendars: Regularly reviewing key publications’ editorial calendars is helpful for determining the trends that outlets are focused on for the next 6-12 months and the types of resources they are looking for long-term. Also, they give a broad sense of publications’ overall focus and format. Revisit these calendars often to navigate evolving story ideas.
  • Read, read, read: The most important, and the most obvious, tip is to read your key industry and business publications daily. This is truly the best way to identify trends that will help you maximize PR efforts.

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