Most media-savvy public relations professionals understand the 24-hour news cycle and know stories will fade in and out of relevance throughout the day, prompting news outlets to rush to deliver the latest news to stay ahead of competitors.
However, PR pros should also be aware of another trend that can earn their client sustained coverage: the news super cycle. The astute PR pro can pinpoint ‘news super cycles’, or stories that will always be covered, or are “evergreen”. These stories are often framed as large-scale problems affecting thousands or more, often without a clear, long-term solution.
The smart PR team is actively tracking these news super cycles and can pinpoint potential media opportunities to insert their client into the conversation.
So, what does it take to notice and respond to news super cycles?
- When the media is focused on a problem, pitch the solution: Super cycles involve extensive coverage of an overarching problem. Initially, reporters enjoy extensively covering the problem but, at some point, they must begin looking for solutions. An agile public relations team will see this, seek a solution from a client (if they can provide it) and reach out to reporters to share that solution.
- Position your client as an expert who can provide invaluable commentary: Offering the proper spokesperson can help add essential insight to a sustained story and will help reporters cover the news in a different way, making them look good. Pinpoint an executive who can be the premier subject matter expert on the topic under discussion, and determine was he or she could add value as it relates to the problem’s solution.
- Ride the wave: Offering a solution to a problem faced by millions can earn sustained coverage with various media outlets. When pitching, it helps to think like a journalist and speak their language. For example, when pitching a TV reporter, local timeliness and a visual component are key. By learning the lingo and anticipating the content that will be most helpful to each reporter, you position yourself and your client as an asset that will prove to be effective in achieving significant coverage.
By spotting and understanding news super cycles, RH Strategic successfully capitalizes on the existing stories, while thinking ahead of how to ride the super cycle to long-term success. The results can include tons of great news coverage for our client, and the establishment of your client as a thought leader.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.