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Trending Topics: Your Media Relations Secret Weapon

If you’re like me, it can be a challenge to consistently create new story angles and ideas. For content marketers, it’s critical to keep pushing out content to the audience. But we have to make sure that content has relevance; the message must be significant enough that audiences will take notice.

This is just as important for media relations when trying to get the attention of journalists and editors. They receive hundreds—maybe even thousands—of messages from public relations professionals every day. And as important as we feel our message or story may be, we need to understand what content editors need. They are looking for attention-grabbing and useful stories for their audiences.

Want a better chance of placing in media? Here’s a tip: Keep a pulse on what’s trending. Start with what the media and audiences are already talking about.

Keeping a close eye on trending topics gives your pitch a better chance of having a relevant angle. If you’re tying your pitch into national news or popular trends, the media will be more receptive to you. A pitch unrelated to anything relevant—including something far from your reporter’s beat—will land your email in the trash.

Don’t take previous media coverage of your topic as a placement guarantee. Even if the media is already discussing the topic, you could still find your pitch ignored. It’s important to be thoughtful and strategic in your approach—just as you should be with any media outreach.

With that delicate balance in mind, here are some of the best ways to take advantage of national trends.

Find the Right Contact

While it’s important to be mindful of the angle you’re pitching, you also need to make sure the journalist you are contacting is the right fit. Whether it’s a traditional media outlet or industry publication, do some research to see if any of the writers have covered a similar topic or seem like they would be a fit for your topic.

Present a Solution to a Problem

Reiterating a problem or challenge that is being addresses nationwide isn’t very helpful. But if your organization can offer a solution—that’s a benefit to the audience.

Let’s say there is a national story about scams taking place. If your organization can speak to steps people can take to protect themselves or give information on what to watch for, that’s helpful.

Bring It Local

Monitor the news for story angles that speak to a local audience. Provide local media with statistics specific to the surrounding region or offer additional input that is focused on their local audience, not a national one.

Offer Expert Resources

Sometimes, capitalizing on national trends can be as simple as reaching out to journalists with whom you already have a great relationship and offering expertise. For example, if your client is a dietician and there’s a new fad diet, reach out to your contacts. They might need a resource on whether or not this new diet is effective, or if there are potential risks for consumers. If so, you could land your client an interview on a national platform.

Trends don’t just live on social media.  They can be beneficial for media relations, too. If you aren’t already, start monitoring national or industry news for opportunities to offer your organization up as an expert resource!

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