When to jump on a trend and when to hold back

organisation pitching

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you probably couldn't escape the media frenzy surrounding the recent Barbie movie. I've absolutely loved watching the discourse surrounding it as it stampeded its way to the $1BN status last week and it's been fascinating to see how this single subject has sparked a whirlwind of stories across various media outlets. From fashion critiques to discussions about body image, the Barbie movie has proven to be a goldmine for news angles. 

This, of course, brings me to a topic that you've probably realised by now is one of my favourites: the news hook. As you know, a news hook is that juicy angle or element taken from recent news, pop culture, research, data or social media trends that gives your story a timely, relevant and interesting jumping off point. It's the bait that reels in journalists and their audience, ensuring your pitch doesn't end up lost in the sea of information.

Today, we're diving deep into the art of timing. We'll explore when it's a brilliant move to ride the trend wave (à la Barbie) and when it's wiser to sit things out.  

So, let's get started. 

When to Jump on Trends:


When your expertise aligns

If a trend directly relates to your field of expertise, don't hesitate to capitalise on it. For instance, if you're a marketing guru and a new social media platform is making waves, you're in a prime position to offer insights about leveraging it for business growth. When your knowledge aligns with the trend, you become the go-to source for valuable information. 

When you can offer a unique perspective

Trends often lead to saturation. But fear not! This is your chance to stand out. Look at the trend from a different angle, provide a fresh perspective, or challenge common assumptions. Journalists are always on the lookout for unique takes that bring depth to their stories.

When the trend resonates with your audience 

Your audience's interests should guide your decisions. If the trend genuinely resonates with them, jumping on it can enhance your engagement and relevance. For example, if your target audience is fascinated by wellness trends, offering insights about the latest health fad could strike a chord.

When to hold back


When it's a mismatch

Not all trends are meant for everyone. If a trend doesn't align with your brand's values or expertise, trying to force it into your narrative might come off as inauthentic. Remember, authenticity trumps trendiness every time.

When you're not well-informed

Riding a trend without understanding its nuances can backfire. If you're not well-versed in the subject, your content might lack depth and accuracy. It's better to pass on a trend if you can't provide meaningful insights.

When it feels forced 

Journalists have a keen sense for forced narratives. If you're attempting to shoehorn a trend into your pitch without a genuine connection, it could harm your credibility. Your pitch should flow naturally, with the trend enhancing your story, not overshadowing it.