Not all of your PR efforts are ones that were brainstormed, planned, and executed. Sometimes coverage can come from associating your brand with trending headlines. The news cycle can be dominated by viral trends and stories. It may be something silly like planking or the Harlem Shake. There could be a connection to politics or major world events that should include your brand’s voice in the conversation. The story can be in support of a good cause like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or celebrities doing free live-streamed concerts during last year’s pandemic quarantine. It could also be a new type of technology that the internet is buzzing about like NFTs, and your organization wants to get in on the action. Whatever the trend, how do you know if it’s a good idea to participate and show your support for what is dominating the airwaves?
Social media has popularized the humanization of brands. Customers want to see a company as tuned in and authentic. As a brand, it is important to consider many factors before straying from your planned messaging to jump on a current trend. The most important factor is knowing your audience. Who are you trying to reach by jumping on a trend? Are you talking to your current customers or trying to engage new ones? Next is finding a connection between the trend and how your brand relates to it. Why is your voice an important contribution to the conversation? The final thing to think about is how you would utilize success with the trend long term. What is the goal of participating, and how do you continue to engage any new audience you found as a result of the story?
In addition to seizing the moment and engaging with your followers, you can also gain press coverage for participating in whatever is dominating the news. Many outlets will publish articles about everyone who is talking about the trending topic. We can help make sure those publications know you are part of the conversation. With strong messaging on why you chose to participate, a call to action, or how you are supporting a movement, you can get a double boost for properly capitalizing on viral trends.