Putting The Secret Weapon to Work: Newsjacking in PR
Updated: May 20
Although newsjacking may seem like a complex term, it actually refers to hijacking current news to talk about a client’s brand or product. Which is why, it has been rightly labeled as the secret weapon in PR strategy since it requires certain specific conditions in which it can be pulled off. Given the fact that not many agencies have been able to take advantage of newsjacking as a tactic to promote their client’s products or services, it continues to be an unconventional method in PR.
How To Successfully Nail Newsjacking?
This one is simple - Always keep an eye and an ear out for the freshest updates. In today’s times, when news is abundantly available and the number of information bites per hour is more than can be read by one individual alone, agencies must be prepared to come up with a smart and efficient way to pick up news pieces relevant to their brands.
Keeping active tabs to filter out relevant news is the first step.
Once a trending news headline has been identified that matches the area of expertise of a brand or client, the goal is to place the brand strategically into the conversation. To make the greatest impact, agencies must be prepared with a content strategy when the topic is still hot in order to quickly come up with a unique narrative. Another reliable strategy is to place the brand as a subject matter expert and offer their viewpoint on the original breaking news.
By tailoring the content to be engaging, educational, and authentic, agencies have a greater chance of getting published by editors and journalists.
Most news agencies are on the lookout for company responses that can advance the conversation in a meaningful way compared to thinly disguised marketing content. Another way in which PR agencies can make use of newsjacking is by keeping their content flexible and well-researched. By doing the former, you can quickly use the available content as soon as a news story arrives with only a few tweaks, and keeping the content well-researched allows you to position your brand as a credible source who is available to comment on such stories in the future too.
Caveats To Keep In Mind
Another trick that most seasoned PR professionals use is to make a note of calendar events so they are prepared to offer relevant comments beforehand. This could serve as a good strategy that takes lesser time and effort. For example, PR agencies who have brands in the education and edtech sector can take advantage of the school opening season from April-June, to offer their unique perspectives.
Newsjacking as a method can serve a brand’s purpose very well when used in the right context and frequency. Relying on it alone as a PR and communications strategy is not recommended and must be used as part of a suite of your brand’s PR strategy.