Friday, December 12, 2014

Track Record of Our 2014 Predictions, Part I

For more than a dozen years, Birnbach Communicates has compiled an annual list of media trends for its clients, who operate across a range of industries, including technology, financial software and services, unified communications, storage, security, biotech, healthcare, clean tech, senior services, consumer, social networking, nonprofit and education sectors.

There were a lot of big stories, many of them international and tragic in scope, in 2014 that we did not predict including: Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and patients in the U.S.; Ferguson, the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, protests and the racial divide; domestic violence, Ray Rice and the NFL; ISIS, the beheading of kidnapped Americans and the re-engaging by the U.S. in Iraq and Syria; the kidnapping of Israeli teens that sparked fighting in Gaza; the Crimean crisis; the heroin epidemic; e-cigs and vape; the deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers; the fall of Bill Cosby and the senate report on torture. There were also a lot of positive news we didn’t predict including: the Noble Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai; the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS; LeBron James returning to Cleveland; the identification of King Richard III’s remains; the Rosetta Mission landing on a comet; the amazing cultural phenomenon of “Frozen”; and the worldwide, non-ecumenical appeal of Pope Francis (could he be Time Magazine’s first consecutive person of the year?).

And some business stories we didn't expect, such as the competition between Uber and Lyft, along with Uber's probably over-the-line aggressiveness or the rise of Snapchat supplanting Facebook (which, in a kiss of death for teens, is more popular with middle-aged parents than with their kids).

The trends and topics we identify help the agency work with its clients to engage more effectively with reporters, producers, bloggers and other influencers. We also look at the way topics are being covered by media and in social media, and at how those stories are told. We continue to see that the way stories can and should be told is shifting.
What follows over the next few posts is our annual report card of how we did with our 2014 predictions.

Check back on Monday, to see how we did.

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