As highlighted in part one of our newsjacking blog series, newsjacking is a PR strategy used to align your brand with current news stories and expand your audience. This blog will look at how to successfully use newsjacking to boost your brand and gain media exposure.
If you are working with a specialist PR agency, newsjacking opportunities are something they can identify and execute for you. If you are interested in using this strategy yourself, below are five key steps for successful newsjacking.
1. Choose topics that resonate with your brand
The first step in using newsjacking as a PR tool is understanding what you want to communicate with your audience. To come across as authentic, you must choose topics that resonate with your brand. These should be industry-specific topics that you are knowledgeable on and have the authority to speak on. For example, if a company provides broadband services, they would be able to give valuable insights on the topic of remote working as the demand for high-speed broadband increases.
2. Set up notifications and keywords
The very essence of newsjacking is to join conversations around current news events. Therefore, to do so successfully, you must stay up to date with breaking news both at home and internationally, depending on your target audience. The best way to do this is to identify keywords and set up news alerts so you will get relevant stories straight to your inbox. As this is quite a time-consuming task, it is useful to work with a specialist PR agency. As PR professionals, it is our job to monitor the media and identify the right opportunities for your brand, making the process easier.
3. Act quickly and add value
To create an impact with newsjacking, you must act quickly and add value. As an industry professional, you should give advice or insights to expand and build on the story. For example, during the HSE cyber-attack, a cyber security specialist looking to build their profile may offer advice on how this could be prevented in the future. If you are too slow to react, there may be nothing new left to add to the story, making it unlikely that you will receive media coverage.
Social media is beneficial for newsjacking as it is an instant way to share your insights. You may choose to blog your thoughts, live stream on LinkedIn or release a series of tweets. Due to the reach of social media, posts have the potential to go viral, leading to an increase in audience and perhaps media enquiries.
4. Be proactive
The best way to gain coverage with newsjacking is to contact media outlets and journalists who might be interested in or are already covering the story. You can volunteer as the industry voice on the topic, positioning yourself as a thought leader. A great way to join the conversation is to secure radio interviews to discuss the topic or write an opinion article for print. Working with a PR agency is helpful as the agency will have existing relationships with these journalists and is best placed to secure these opportunities on your behalf, making the process easier.
5. Be cautious
While newsjacking can be a valuable PR tool, it is essential to be selective about the topics you choose to talk about. To ensure that your newsjacking efforts are successful and do not backfire, avoid controversial issues and only speak on topics that align with your brand's messaging. If you do not have any valuable insights to add to the conversation it is best not to get involved.
Newsjacking is just one strategy used by PR agencies to raise a company's profile in the media. If you are interested in finding out more about how PR can help your business, get in touch here.