Birnbach Communications’ Top Predictions for 2014, Part VI: General News Stories

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Here’s our list of general news stories we expect to see in 2014.

  1. More interest in workplace diversity. Spurred by SNL’s hiring of two black women comedians (at press time SNL had not hired any black comic/actress this season but we expect they will hire two black actresses), we think there will more attention paid to diversity in TV shows and movies, and that this could lead to a larger discussion about diversity in the non-celebrity-filled workplace. 
  2. Growing Hispanic influence. This is a demographics story, one that will get mentioned a lot in the run up to the midterm elections, especially if immigration reform gets discussed. 
  3. Real estate market. Along with the retail sector, the media likes to look at real estate to determine how the economy is really going.  Expect a look at renters v. owners, and the impact of housing prices across the country. We also expect more interest in urban real estate as companies will say goodbye to the ‘burbs to attract qualified employees. 
  4. The new Thanksgiving tradition is shopping on Thanksgiving.  As much as we don’t like it, from here on in, the Christmas shopping season will probably start Thanksgiving Day. Implications: This changes retail stories told in Q3. 
  5. Stock market and the biotech bubble. 2014 will be marked by concerns about the health of the stock market. Of the different sectors, rising biotech shares will generate growing concern of a biotech bubble. That concern will affect all parts of the industry, especially startups as VCs start getting nervous about their portfolios. Implications: There’s not much publicly held companies can do – except, as a Forbes reporter once told us, have you company “do better…and boost its share price.” We just think it’s important to understand how editors allocate their resources (reporters’ time and the outlets’ news hole).

Tomorrow we’ll issue our list of ongoing (continuing from 2013) news stories we expect to see.

Let us know if you agree or disagree. Click here for Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV or Part V.

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