One of the most interesting aspects of public relations is how it, if executed well, can enable a company to leverage current trends and market developments to its advantage. PR can help companies latch onto emerging market drivers to help boost awareness, demonstrate thought leadership and drive interest. It can preset expectations ahead of big product launches and defuse the actions of close competitors.
This current can also be very effective in helping shape a market by your company’s strengths and the competitors’ weaknesses, by articulating how your features and functionality better match where the market is going and how it is better suited to help customers get there. To be most effective with this, you should leverage a broad range of communication channels from media interviews, analyst discussions, speaking opportunities, customer events, blogs, social media and probably several others I’m neglecting to mention.
Finding the current can also help elevate a company that seems to get stuck talking about what it makes and not what is driving the need for its products to market. With this granular level of focus with its media relations, a company can miss out on opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership. Given how many stories are written each day about trends shaping the market, the pending impact of regulation or even what the next season’s trends will be, these are great opportunities. These forward looking opportunities don’t focus on what a company makes, but demonstrates that your company is thinking about how the market is changing as it designs, develops and brings new products and services to market.
Companies can also link to current market trends to explain how a business was negatively impacted by events outside its control. This is not to suggest that outside market forces can become the complete scapegoat, but they can help shade when something didn’t go as planned.
Regardless of how you want to leverage market trends and shifts, it’s important to know what they are so you can position your company effectively. Social media, conversations with key industry influencers, reading analyst reports and blogs, are all good ways to keep your toe in the water to feel which way the current is flowing.