For B2B brands that are looking to engage audiences, whether through earned media, inbound marketing, or an integrated combination of both, I believe that the following events are likely to shape the news agenda in the weeks ahead.
Falling Oil Prices
Oil is set to “cost less than bottled water” according to the Telegraph, which will have an impact on all areas of the economy. Whilst petrol at the pump will be cheaper, falling oil prices have already lead to losses of jobs at BP with other companies likely to be affected. Stock price turbulence can be expected as a result.
In such times of uncertainty, business leaders, journalists and B2B decision makers are likely to be receptive to content and debate that explores the implications, opportunities and threats that this turbulence will bring. If you have a global CEO who you want to be perceived as an industry thought leader, then they should have a view on this, which should be part of your B2B PR Programme.
Interest Rate Rises
Much of the UK is in a state of neurosis about interest rates and potential rises. The Evening Standard warned Londoners to get ready for rises, although yesterday the Royal Bank of Scotland advised everyone to sell everything apart from high quality stock because a massive crash is on the way.
So what will happen if rates go up? What impact will a rise have on business? When will they go up? What should businesses do to protect themselves? These questions are screaming out for answers and therefore offer massive opportunity for proactive B2B PR and inbound marketing teams.
Trump is not going away. He seems to be gathering pace. The more neutral editorial around Trump seems to be shifting from “How does he get away with it” to “Oh my God this could actually happen.”
What impact would Trump’s residency in the White House have on your business, your sector, your clients? There will be mileage in this.
Is anything private anymore?
Yesterday, it was reported that EU legislation had been passed that allowed employers to access employees personal messaging and electronic communications. Today, the press is full of comment about whether this is an invasion of personal privacy.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, was in the White House calling for unbreakable encryption to be given more support. This would mean that government agencies clamoring on for the access to encrypted channels would not be entertained.
FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly asked the U.S. government and tech companies to grant them a backdoor for encrypted communication channels. He believes that terrorists and other criminals communicate via encrypted software that makes it harder for the FBI to catch them or predict their next move.
At the same time, the grief of David Bowie’s ex wife has given a ratings boost to reality show Celebrity Big Brother. There has been pubic outcry.
I see a connection between these three separate events that brings into question our notion of personal and private information, which touches on security, mobility, media, entertainment, and life. Again, this is a theme that is not going away and which will attract further debate and discussion.
So we will be looking at these and other themes over the coming weeks and evaluating ways in which our clients can create content that is relevant, credible and results in thought leadership opportunities. Of course, these are, in some cases, sensitive subjects where filters need to be applied to ensure that offence is not caused. A bad example of jumping on a topical news story can be seen with shoe manufacturer Crocs who, just after Bowie’s passing, tweeted a graphic that was perceived as being overly promotional. Seeking to profit from the death of a rock god is not advisable.
Contrast Croc’s misstep with the success enjoyed by Pret who got into a twitter rap battle with a a complaining customer and won plaudits in the process, and it is clear that there is a line of relevance, which, if a brand stays on the right side of, can be very rewarding.
For more information which could help maximise your newsjacking efforts, check out the link below for our eBook on generating and measuring the value of earned media.