It’s almost a necessary evil, helping clients to put together their predictions for the next year. I recently had a chance to work with clients on how to keep their predictions for 2016 fresh, and here’s what I learned.
Don’t go it alone. Often, it feels like writing this kind of blog, release, whatever, falls to one person. After all, if he or she is your thought leader, you want that person to bring those leading thoughts. But after several years of looking ahead, it can only make the writing better if you bring in some help. We gathered people from our exec’s team, as well as some marketing gurus to look at the brainstorm from a different point of view.
Make sure you agree on process. It seems silly to create OARP (Owner, Approver, Reviewer, Participant) for something like predictions, but if you bring in more people, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve nailed down each person’s role. In addition, you’ll want a workback schedule. Give your team deadlines to hit, and you’re more likely to get the predictions out before New Year’s Eve. And whatever time you THINK you’ll need for most of the steps. Double it.
Think of a theme. Coming up with something overarching to tie the predictions together can keep them fresh, even if you feel like you’re saying similar things year after year.
Post-its are your friend. A brainstorm with colorful sticky notes may seem cliché, but when you’re identifying trends in what several people are suggesting for the next year, it’s great to be able to cluster them together. Everyone may THINK their idea is 100% original, but if you put them together & allow them to build on each other, you’re more likely to come up with something truly creative.
Points for presentation. I won’t share what MY team came up with, but there are a lot of different ways to present something that feels like the same old content. Can you do a GIF for each prediction? Is it an interactive infographic? How would it then translate into a presentation? You’ll need to prepare a little bit of text, but thinking about the visuals & media to present the ideas in may help clarify where to focus for the year.
It may feel like over engineering, but a little bit of prep work can go a long way in keeping the predictions fresh for your clients & therefore more interesting to readers.