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“Trust us to protect you from trends that affect you” – how “Trendspotting” articles work

While “newsjacking” articles cover hard news and sudden changes, your clients also can be affected by slow, gradual changes that they don’t notice. That’s until one morning they discover that a threshold has been crossed that affects their business.

The kind of articles I call “Trendspotting” cover these slow-moving issues. They help reassure your clients that your firm understands the big picture that affects them, and is able to develop solutions to help their client either avoid a problem resulting from the trend, or gain a benefit.

I did this with an author who is an engineer with an international firm, based in their Tulsa OK office, who was an expert in managing gas pipelines. He’d noticed that the trend towards hydraulic fracturing -- “fracking” -- had caused an increase in the liquids (called “natural gas liquids,” or NGLs) in the gas stream. He had seen that this causes problems for pipeline operators, as the NGLs accumulate in low points inside the pipelines, plugging the line. This engineer wanted to write an article about this trend towards more NGLs in the gas stream, and what pipeline operators could do about it.

I presented the idea to the editor of a London-based publication focusing on gas pipelines, World Pipelines, and she sounded interested in the idea. So I interviewed the author in Tulsa to get some numerical data about the increase in NGL flow, the problems this causes, the opportunities available (NGLs such as butane are really, really valuable – more than the gas itself), and what pipeline operators could do to avoid problems and access benefits.

I prepared a first draft, and sent it to the author for review. When he’d made some corrections to my first draft (I never get it exactly right the first time), I forwarded the article to the editor in London, along with some pictures from the author. The article was published in their next issue.

Learn more about applying “trendspotting” to professional services firms >>

Download "Handling NGL Headaches" >>

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