Seize the moment - and today that's #lovewins
from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here)
The majority of people who see this blog post on the date of publication will immediately understand what it’s about, with the rainbow colours symbolising the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to recognise same-sex marriage as a Constitutional right. However, should you happen upon this page at say the end of June in a few years’ time, you might very well think it represents Gay Pride in general. Why? The annual occasion most often takes place at this time of the year. But what if you come across this post in December one year? You’ll very probably view it more literally, as a rainbow shooting out of an earthenware bowl.
Here’s the point: imagery and stories can be crafted to relate to current affairs. As they’re topical, they grab people’s attention for addressing issues of the moment. In modern-day media, trending #hashtags give increased opportunities for higher visibility. For instance, the number one trending topic this weekend is #lovewins, the hashtag associated with the Supreme Court’s ruling. By the end of the day on Saturday – following Gay Pride in Paris, London and New York amongst other places around the globe, my Twitter account stated that there were 8.51 million tweets on this topic. Users of various social media platforms watch for trending topics. Pay attention and jump onboard with your own relevant contributions while using those hashtags, and you’re situated to raise views of messages.
Understanding how this works can provide leverage to those wanting to stand out amongst all the noise. Sometimes, there are world happenings that so happen to take place which are eerily related to an occasion you’ve already planned. Take for instance a New York exhibition that had been many months in the planning, presenting paintings from an artist’s two-month trek to Nepal. Purely by coincidence, the show opened on the very day that the devastating earthquake hit the country. In response, the gallerist immediately took action and committed to donating a portion of show proceeds to charities in great need of support. It was a good cause, and gained a lot of additional attention, as well.
While glossy magazines require three to six months’ advance planning – and thus, relating to current news is out of the question, there can be other opportunities to grasp much closer to the time of your events. Say a planned photography exhibition that documents the plights faced by same-sex couples in the USA’s socially conservative South is already set to open next week. Suddenly, the show is relevant for news headlines, and thus stands a decent chance of securing coverage in local, national and online publications.
Therefore, by keeping an awareness of recent news you’re well positioned to spot opportunities for increased exposure. In addition to relating already planned or happening events, you can take the opportunity to stage an event that taps into news.
The key is taking the opportunity and seizing the moment, for trending topics often change overnight and you never know what the next day holds.
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