Surfing news

After what seems like the first decent summer in UK living memory, the images of North Cornwall surf lessons are fading and Positive’s small, but perfectly formed, team is heading into a busy Q4.

This is when development teams at almost every lab in the universe, realise summer is over and they have to release the products their CEO described as ‘expected in the second half of 2010’. Adding pressure, a rash of industry events makes this a very hard time to get any ‘push through’ for your PR efforts. But someone has to make the headlines, so, like the pros we are, we have been reminding clients new, old and prospective, about the definition of news;

Lesson 1.01 – News is something that happens today, that did not happen yesterday.

This can be a tough lesson. Whereas, strictly speaking, the announcement of sales figures, new personnel and products being ready to ship, however run-of-the-mill, are news, the mere desire to make a splash is definitively not.

However, when all your competitors are dropping releases like so many waves breaking on the shore, it feels like you should steal their wave. Especially when your nervous sales team berate your PR as creating a becalmed gyre. Well, turns out, surfing someone else’s wave, is a great idea.

Today’s Twitter-driven news agenda, especially in the technology sector, is very tidal. Waves of news break with a new regularity, wiping out even the most carefully prepared announcements. Unless you are the creator of the tsunami (recently examples include Intel’s break into security and Apple’s U-Turn in the face of Android), even the most carefully-prepared media relation campaigns can wipe out on the rocks.

Nothing wrong with your news, but in Q4 you just need to work harder.Fear not, jump up on someone else’s wave. Got a security product? Produce authoritative research about Facebook hacks. Got a back-up solution? Comment on record fines for data loss. Better still find a new angle to news stories that are guaranteed to happen, new smartphone launches, government belt-tightening plans or post-holiday depression.

Trendsurfing, like the real thing requires preparation. You need to wax your board, zip up that wetsuit and be brave. Not everyone wave will break how you want to, but that is when you get back onboard and paddle out again. If you want Positive Marketing’s trendsurfers to show you how to wax your board, head out into the surf and go with, not against the tide, you know what to do.






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