So, let me get one thing out of the way — we’re not psychic. We’d never claim to be capable of seeing into the future. When it comes to predicting the trajectory of a story though… that’s a different question.
The days of relying solely on hindsight to understand media trends are both literally and figuratively behind us. With predictive analytics, we now have the power to foresee the trajectory of news stories — creating an entirely new era of proactive communications strategies and foresight.
Back to the future
Traditionally, media monitoring was like looking in the rearview mirror. Data collection allowed us to reflect on past events and their impact. However, as the media landscape continued to evolve, so did our needs. The demand for real-time insights grew and the technology adapted to meet this demand.
But if you fast forward to today, we find ourselves on the cusp of something entirely different. Predictive analytics have given us the ability to foresee the trajectory of news stories. It’s no longer about just understanding what’s happening right now; it’s about understanding what will happen next.
Proactive versus reactive measurement
In the world of communications, being reactive often means playing catch-up—and in the fast-paced digital age, that can mean falling behind for good. Predictive analytics flip the script, giving you the tools to be proactive in your approach. No longer are you scrambling to react to breaking news or trends; you’re one step ahead, guiding the narrative rather than chasing it.
The biggest brand crises of 2023
Consider a hypothetical scenario in which your organization uses predictive analytics and detects a potential crisis before it escalates. With this capability, you can predict how big or small the story will become, allowing you to take preemptive measures, or best yet, decide that nothing needs to be done, thereby avoiding a potential Streisand effect that draws everyone’s attention to the issue. By addressing the issue before it spirals out of control, you safeguard your brand’s reputation while demonstrating your commitment to transparency and accountability.
Prediction in action
In the same way predictive analytics can help you foresee a potential crisis, they can also help you identify topics or nascent trends. Our partners at Ford used our prediction feature in NewsWhip Spike to do just that. During the Texas Winter Blizzard of 2021, Ford’s Global Insights team discovered through our platform that Texans impacted by the blizzard were using their hybrid Ford F150 trucks as generators to power homes and neighborhoods that had lost electricity in the storm.
Our platform not only showed Ford that this was a trend gathering interest at speed, but predictive analytics also demonstrated that the story would grow even further. With that info, Ford’s teams were able to bring the story to the Detroit Free Press—resulting in national coverage and well over a million engagements.
Ford launched an entire campaign around the story, even going so far as to loan out Ford trucks to Texans in need. What was the business benefit of all this? Besides national coverage, recognition as one of the five companies that stepped up to help in the crisis, a huge spike in website traffic, and a 74% increase in sales of their electric vehicles—Ford reinforced their brand reputation while supporting their community. And it all began with a predictive analytics insight that gave them the confidence to act.
The time pressure of press
Those of us in PR know the power of time—a few hours can make all the difference. You can almost think of predictive analytics as a form of PR insurance. It gives you the power to amplify the stories you know will resonate, while also helping you protect your brand image and reputation before a potential crisis hits.
By harnessing the power of prediction, we shift from being spectators to becoming active participants in shaping the media landscape. If you’re looking to stay relevant, influential, and ahead of the curve, don’t just monitor the present—anticipate the future with your very own coverage crystal ball.
Learn more about NewsWhip’s prediction feature by requesting a demo to see how you can find trends earlier than everyone else, focus on what matters, get ahead of any issue or crisis, and plan with confidence.