Predicting the Future of Media

By Mary Tindall

Staying on top of media trends is a vital part of our job as public relations professionals. That’s why we were fascinated to read Nieman Journalism Lab’s journalism predictions for 2014.

Released annually, the Nieman list sheds light on how news is produced and consumed in the digital age. From mobile-first design to wearable tech, the way people access information is rapidly evolving.

In turn, these realities shape the way PR professionals interact with journalists. For example, the rise of the fluid beat structure could mean that we’re pitching reporters who cover “sets of evolving ideas rather than fixed places or topics.” It’s intriguing to imagine the possibilities.

You can read the full set of predictions here. How do you think media will evolve in 2014?

Calendar Hooks

One of the best things about starting the new year is planning ahead. For public relations professionals, that means figuring out the best way for clients to be included in news stories. Besides timely hooks, one of the easiest predictors of what the media will cover is to research upcoming historic anniversaries.

Case in point: Just look at the recent front-page article of USA Today marking the 20th anniversary of the drama that headlined women’s figure skating when Tonya Harding was part of the plot to injure Nancy Kerrigan during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Sports psychologists, ice skating coaches and Olympic and pop culture experts could have had a field day being quoted in this story.

There’s plenty of resources out there to position your client or company for success. Check out Chase’s Calendar of Events and I always like to order The Date-A-Base Book.

You might say that your business can’t possibly find any parallels, but I assure you any expert or industry can tie in to something. For example, one of our firm’s financial clients wrote about the need for long-term planning and used the 80th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash as a way to demonstrate his point.

So mark your calendars and plan the pitch well in advance. You’re bound to find media opportunities with a calendar resource and a little creativity.

 Doreen Overstreet is VP of the PR department. She enjoys fishing for stories with some good calendar hooks.