Last week I found myself on the cover of The Daily Mail, which was exciting, exhilarating and slightly weird. Good news for my profile, bad news for my father who is, politically, slightly to the left of Corbyn. But it got me thinking about serendipity, because despite our best efforts we can’t control everything, and I was just lucky that the editor was receptive to brunettes with an emotional story to tell and that nothing shinier or more sensational had come in.
What we can do, though, is roll with it – by 11am the morning the paper came out I found myself writing a piece for The Telegraph, prompted by them seeing The Mail feature. I’m sure you know that most journalists/commissioning editors scan the other papers for stories or trends that are interesting and then think up angles with a slightly different slant. I am often rung up by editors saying “there was a piece in the weekend insert newspaper here about pink hair. Can you road test this look in Piccadilly Circus?”
Why am I telling you this? Because sometimes it can be easy to dismiss something as ‘done’, but actually if you see a story or a trend that really resonates, you can use this as a starting point for other stories. Extrapolate it.
Take the peek-a-boo hair-colour trend, where a flash of v strong colour is hidden underneath neutral colour, only shown when your hair is flicked. Perhaps there is a feature about midlife rebellion? Is it the new way to show your renegade side, like multiple ear piercings or a secret tattoo? Can you capitalise on an existing trend for your clients to get them some PR? Sometimes it’s good to jump on the band wagon.