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Predicting the death of prediction pieces

With the end of the year in sight, it’s that time when we start to discuss the P word. Predictions. We see the thoughts and views of leaders sharing what they think are interesting and influential trends ahead of 2018.

So why does this flurry of predictions pieces make me wonder whether or not we should actually write them? On the one hand, they are popular. Everyone is writing them so there is the feeling that we should too. It’s a great way to drive attention and engagement with prospects, customers and media.

Same old predictions
What you mustn’t forget though, is that sometimes they are done for the sake of it. We’ve all had the client call or internal meeting where it’s discussed – “It’s nearly 2018, let’s write our annual ‘what to expect over the next 12 months’ piece.” Is this enough of a reason to write 600 words? Often you aren’t actually predicting anything new or interesting. So we get a wave of predictions that don’t really predict anything at all. Instead, they are predictable in stating the obvious themes or topics that we already know about.

It’s not easy, of course it’s not. As huge overarching business, technology and economic themes overlap and dominate, it’s tough to find nuggets that are new or different. But as we know, nothing worth doing is ever easy. Use this as a time to stand out from the sea of diluted predictions with your own clear, bold and meaningful ideas and thoughts that might actually be wrong. Take risks! Capture attention and teach audiences something they don’t know. It’s much better than repeating something they do know with the same, safe topics.

Be original
By using stories, you can make your predictions come to life, rather than just making a dull list of what you think could be big. Be bold, be an expert and be yourself. In doing so, you will put your head above the parapet and have something to say that very few others will.  It’s a great opportunity to share your expertise and personality.

The end of the year is a time to reflect about all the announcements and news that has happened and think about what trends could be big in the New Year. But if you don’t use storytelling and don’t say something different from your competitors, then there’s little point in doing it at all. Without using your expert industry knowledge and creative mind, you may as well sit back and watch as the same old predictions, are predicted. Just as they were last year, the year before and the year before that.

Article written by Nick Head, associate director at PR firm Berkeley

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