Trends are everywhere. The more we look for them, the more we see.
It’s a constant ebb and flow, and it’s true for businesses as well as society. Andy Warhol defined it as 15 minutes of fame. In today’s fast-moving world, 15 seconds may be more accurate.
Consider Nokia. It was atop the mobile phone world until it made missteps, shrank to a shadow of itself and had to sell its vaunted handset business to Microsoft. Or BlackBerry, which once owned corporate mobile communications but missed the shift to a consumer-driven market, withered and is on the brink of collapse even after agreeing to be acquired for 5% of its value only five years ago.
It works both ways. Early on, Apple couldn’t get traction in the market. It was deemed roadkill by the mid-1990s. Then Steve Jobs was brought back, turned Apple into a powerhouse of innovation and built it into the most valuable technology company on the planet.
Some trends affect society broadly:
The over-analyzed Baby Boomers and the next generations who were so uncertain where to go and how to get there. The latest twist: The “Baby Bust” generation who postponed child-rearing got clobbered by the Great Recession. Only now are they recovering enough to start families.
Or interracial marriage. A recent news report found 9% of unmarried couples living together are of different ethnicity. But only 4% tie the knot because of opposition from family. Some ethnic groups are less likely than others to give their blessing to out-marriage, and resistance rises with age.
All this speaks volumes about journalists — and those who work with them.
Reporters love trends, especially if they notice and write about them first. There’s a rule of thumb in the media: Once is happenstance. Twice, a coincidence. Three times, a trend.
Think you’ve spotted a trend? Find a few examples. Do an interview or two. Extrapolate. Toss in a few statistics if available. Voilà. Instant story. Even better: Nice byline lets you look insightful.
Ah, the joys of journalism. Leave the rigorous research and peer-reviewed analysis to academics. You’ve got deadlines to meet and competitors to beat.
For Crisis & Reputation Management, this is an opportunity. The reporter wants to be first and most insightful. We help him make it so. We just make sure it benefits our clients.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.