There’s been a lot of serious stuff happening in the news this year, and it has made it rather tricky for PRs to cut through the noise with their stories.
But instead of sitting back and letting the news take over, there is a way of ensuring your client is still heard and you’re still getting links and coverage for them – newsjacking.
For anyone unsure of what this is, or who is needing a little refresher, I’ve shared my top newsjacking tips below to make sure your client’s voice stand out among any news agenda:
Check the news (obviously!)
Of course, with any newsjacking activity, you need to check the news every day. Google alerts for your client’s industries are a great idea, as you’ll be notified of any stories happening in the relevant sector that you can jump on.
Twitter is also a great place to find out trending stories, or a quick browse of the newspapers each morning will also do the trick. As PRs, it’s so important to make sure you’re up to date with the news at all times.
An example of the biggest news as told by Twitter
A Google Alert for the ‘UK property market’
Ensure relevancy to your client
You should only react to the news if it is relevant to your client. It can be tempting to pull anything together for a client to try increase coverage and links, but you must always stay on brand.
For example, if your client is a furniture company and the news that day is that a new health vaccine has been tested, it wouldn’t make any sense to try hop on the story, and journalists will be unlikely to cover it as it isn’t coming from a trustworthy voice in the relevant industry. A healthcare company jumping on a health vaccine story makes far more sense.
Create your new angle
Once there’s a story relevant to your client that you feel you can comment on, I’d always advise checking through all your previous campaigns and data first to see if there’s anything relevant that you can quickly reangle and send to press.
If you don’t have any previous campaigns or data that can be re-angled, you can still react to the news agenda. Pulling together an expert comment is a great way of doing this, as long as it’s coming from an authoritative voice from within your client’s company.
This comment surrounding the Halifax HPI from director of our client Good Move were recently featured on Daily Express
Newsjacking is a great way of changing the narrative to work in your client’s favour. So, if the news is saying that Brexit means healthcare for expats will suffer and you have an insurance for expats client, offer a comment providing advice and reassurance. Newsjacking is the best way create a positive narrative and establish your client as a voice of authority in their field.
Ensure the news hook is prominent in your story
When it comes to writing up your new story or re-angled campaign, you need to ensure the news hook is prominent. Include it in your release’s headline, introductory paragraph and expert comment, as well as in your outreach email and subject header. Journalists shouldn’t have to search to find the relevancy to the news, so make sure they don’t have to!
We had an existing story for our client that focussed around homes for dogs, and how to make sure you’re ready for a new puppy. In light of a lot of stories in the press focussing around thousands of people getting dogs for lockdown, we reangled our story to fit the agenda
Target the right journalists
As always, when it comes to outreaching your new release, who you contact with the story is key. Always do a Google search to find journalists who have covered similar stories to the one you’re writing, for example if you are writing a release about getting a dog in lockdown, search for similar stories and see which journalists are writing about the same thing. You’re only going to see success with your stories if you target relevant journalists.
With any newsjacking stories, you need to be fast getting it out to press. The news agenda changes so rapidly, so if you wait any longer than a day to get your story out, chances are it won’t be relevant and it won’t be picked up. Always try write your new release first thing in the morning, and get it sent to press by 10am if you can. If the news comes out in the middle of the day, ensure it takes no longer than a couple hours to write up your new release or comment and get it sent to press. If you’re too slow, chances are competitors will beat you to it!