A guide to global newshacking
At Gregory FCA, we pay attention to the media. We know what journalists are writing. We know what is being talked about on TV news shows. And, most importantly, we know how to get our clients’ names into the media. Here are some news events we are paying attention to and ways we can position our clients into these stories.
1. ALL THINGS TRUMP: All presidents gain excessive media coverage, especially during their first 100 days in office. But there is a very unscientific argument to be made that no one in the history of the planet has driven news coverage quite like Donald Trump. This isn’t just true in the political and national press. It’s also true in the financial press.
On Monday, Jan. 30, Trump’s decision to deny entry of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen received two Wall Street Journal cover stories, was the top billing on the Financial Times and Bloomberg (along with quotes in daily market stories) with Reuters flashing a breaking headline about the CEO of Ford’s rebuke of the travel ban. This was three days after the executive order was signed and two days after Saturday’s travel chaos that prompted protests nationwide. Everything Trump says and Tweets gets coverage. Every one of Sam Spicer’s Daily Briefings has become appointment television. For those of us who obsessively watch and/or work in the media, it’s absolutely remarkable.
NEWSHACK: Want to get in the media? Have an opinion about Trump’s proposals and policies. We see dozens of questions a day from reporters asking for comments about what Trump’s latest missive means. These requests come from everything from the national press to niche trade publications. A lot of firms will want to avoid saying anything tied into politics, and understandably so. But Trump coverage is unavoidable in today’s media climate. Remember, though: Although you certainly can if you want, one doesn’t need to have an opinion about Trump’s policies in stories. A strong analysis as to possible ramifications to imports and exports due to relations with Mexico and saber rattling with China is what’s more important, especially for more sophisticated publications.
2. THE ROAD TO BREXIT: The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union has had many twists and turns since the shocking result over the summer. It will get even harrier now that the British Supreme Court has ruled that Parliament must approve “Article 50” that allows the U.K. to officially leave the EU. It’s widely expected that Parliament will adhere to the voting results of the public. But the ruling makes it tricky for Prime Minister Theresa May, who just days before the ruling stated she favored a “clean exit.” Now, there is room for negotiation among the ranks of Parliament as the country leaves. For instance, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would look to amend any policies in Article 50 that would make the U.K. a “low-cost tax haven.”
On top of the road to Brexit are various economic issues, such as the value of the British pound, the value of the FTSE Russell Index and British corporate values. And there is also a bigger, longer-term story if giant financial institutions will keep London as a global hub or will move to an EU country.
NEWSHACK: This is a huge story in the financial and global press – one of the biggest of the decade, in fact. Do you have a global reach? A macroeconomic expert on board? There are major opportunities to earn quotes in newspapers and magazines known for a sophisticated readership. Bonus points to anyone who can explain to a reporter why and how this affects American firms and customers, since most of the media is based in America, and proximity is a huge factor when editors determine what stories to run.
3. FRANCE’S BIG VOTE: France has the first round of its presidential election in April, with their campaign in full-swing. The race has three major candidates: center-right candidate Francois Fillon, hard-right winger Marie Le Pen and independent firebrand Emmanuel Macron are all running neck-and-neck in polls. Socialist candidate Benoit Macron is the primary left-wing candidate running.
Many pundits classify Fillon as the leader (Le Pen polls higher numbers, but due to their run-off system Fillon would likely ultimately prevail). But the one lesson of 2016 was that the pundits and polls aren’t always right.
NEWSHACK: The big question with this race is what it means if Le Pen wins. Reporters, financial companies and PR agents alike were all surprised by the Brexit vote and Trump election. Those votes taught us all that we should consider the “what-if” scenarios of every possible result. If you have an opinion on what it means if each of the candidate wins ahead of their victory, you have a leg-up on the competition when it comes to pitching reporters. As a former reporter, I appreciated it when contacts could deliver sources that: 1) were available to talk ASAP and 2) had a basic knowledge as to what they were going to say before the interview started, which allowed me to develop questions for a more substantial interview.
4. UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT: The U.S. Labor Department’s monthly unemployment report is always of interest and frequently gets stand-alone coverage in certain newspapers and websites. The monthly report for January comes out on Friday, Feb. 3. This also happens to be the first report since Trump’s inauguration. The unemployment report (and quarterly GDP report) are frequently viewed as a “report card” for the administration. And while Trump’s policies have likely had no effect on January’s figures (he was only sworn in about two weeks ago), there will no doubt be coverage tying his name into these stories.
NEWSHACK: Number one of this list addressed general topics related to Trump. But topics like the unemployment report and daily market reporting allow sources to get more specific about Trump’s effects on certain aspects of the economy. See a sector of stocks that could fare well because of Trump’s potential infrastructure spending? Or have a view on health care stocks in the wake of the probable repeal of Obamacare? Those are the types of questions we are seeing from reporters right now.
5. OUTSIDE THE WESTERN WORLD: Emerging markets have all sorts of interesting stories. Venezuela’s economy has been shattered by hyperinflation. In November, India essentially did away with the country’s cash, causing a ripple effect of ramifications.. South Korea’s Prime Minister was impeached in a crazy, complicated scandal. These are just some of the incredibly interesting stories emanating from countries in Latin America and Asia – and that’s not even considering China’s important economic reporting or Gambia participating in its first peaceful transition.
NEWSHACK: These stories may seem minor or something unlikely to get coverage. But these are topics still written about in the world’s most esteemed magazines and publications. They are also always interesting feature-type stories. While these countries are not on the tips-of-the-tongues of many people, the world is interested in hearing about them. And that is where the best kinds of stories are being told. Why not help tell them?
Be sure to check back for these updates on a recurring basis – the world is constantly changing, and we are constantly adapting.