Every year when Q4 comes around, companies and marketing professionals all have one thing on their mind (unless of course, there is another big company announcement forthcoming) – predictions for what’s to come the following year! Companies across all verticals begin collecting their perspective of what lies ahead to get in front of business, technology and vertical trade media to be showcased as a thought leader in their respective industry.
With 2019 predictions season still under way (you can expect to see prediction through January), did you or your company get the results you were hoping for or are you still looking to take advantage of media appetite for future predictions? In either instance, you’ve come to the right place, as our team works diligently with clients across our enterprise, infrastructure, and security practices to ensure their predictions rise above the rest and can provide a few best practices to still make a splash now or in 9 months from now. I did a fair share of pitching on behalf of a few 10Fold clients myself, so without further ado, here are my four tips to have a more successful predictions season.
Make your predictions bold
Remember, every executive and every company always has something to say so when you’re brainstorming predictions for the following year or next 12 months, make sure they’re bold. Editors and reporters get thousands of pitches touting what the next big trend or buzzword is in tech – Augmented Intelligence, Industrial IoT, Industry 4.0, 5G, bleeding-edge, cutting-edge – they’ve heard it all. What do they do when they see a vague and generic pitch? Drag and drop it into the trash. Make sure predictions are crafted in way where there specific to a trend you’re seeing in the industry, take a hard stance with your perspective and shop it around. The media will be able to sense the passion and knowledge you have on the topic and will likely be more receptive.
Bring predictions to the table others aren’t talking or thinking about
Similar to making them bold, predictions also need to stand out. If you’re in the security industry – your predictions this year were likely about data protection and privacy, or perhaps how newly introduced regulations will affect the industry in 2019. It’s an easy prediction to get behind, especially following a year full of data breaches. However, this is where you must stand out from the crowd. Sticking with the security industry as an example, one prediction may be, “how will the improvement of AI affect data protection?” or “will 2019 be the year the giant tech companies make much needed acquisitions?”
Perhaps another prediction could be around the increased adoption of biometric data – during a time where data breaches are so common, will consumers be willing to let companies have more access to our biometrics for a better user experience? By standing out with a prediction other executives aren’t thinking about – you increase your chances of securing that interview or contributed article.
Make your predictions not only vendor neutral, but also product neutral
When getting ready to pitch out predictions to the media a general rule of thumb is to make the predictions vendor neutral, meaning you don’t name your company in the interview or contributed article you’re looking to place with an outlet. More so in today’s media landscape, the media is also asking for executives to provide predictions that aren’t only vendor neutral, but the prediction has to also be product neutral.
What do I mean by “product neutral”? Traditionally, companies used to be able to get away with sharing predictions that portray what the company’s value proposition is, but without naming the company itself in interviews or in a contributed article. That time is coming to an end. The media is increasingly looking for executives who can provide a perspective outside of the field they and their company directly impact. Be sure to take this into consideration when making your predictions!
Have at least one contrarian prediction
The media appreciates contrarian predictions – provided there is some substance and sense. The best example I think of when thinking of contrarian predictions is Elon Musk. There are companies all over the world developing AI algorithms and refining them to be the best they possibly can be. With machine learning, these algorithms are getting to the point where they can obviously teach themselves. Musk has been vocal to warn the world to be wary of what he calls an “AI apocalypse,” meaning that there will come a point where humans are ruled by AI. Crazy, right? Only time will tell. But what we do know is everyone can’t stop talking about this prediction.
Another example, this time from a current client, is that AI will create more jobs in the future rather than taking them away, which is what the general population believes. Automation and robots will indeed replace humans in some aspects of industry, but who is going to train the technology to continue improving? AI will bring with it a new wave of job creation – specifically for AI trainers.
Now, your predictions are finally complete and you’re ready to pitch media – how else can you entice them to work with you? If it’s for a contributed article, proactively providing a few writing samples you’ve published in the past can help elevate you to the top of the pile. Be sure to also provide your bio and headshot ahead of time – make the editor’s job as easy as possible during the process and they’ll appreciate it. I’ve also had success suggesting to editors which section of the media outlet I believe a prediction would best fit – it shows I’ve done my research and want to help the publication get as much viewership as possible.
So, whether you’re still pitching a 2019 prediction or are marking your calendar now for nine months down the road when the time comes for 2020 predictions, try to remember a few of these tips to help get noticed. Many companies will be competing for the media’s attention. May the odds be ever in your favor.
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