In the UK, newsjacking is the practice of monitoring the news for breaking stories, identifying opportunities for your clients, and issuing comments on their behalf to journalists. The goal is to get the comment out as quickly as possible, so that journalists can use it in their articles, creating PR coverage and boosting brand exposure for your client.
Alongside brand awareness, newsjacking also helps to position your client as a thought leader around core topics relevant to their business, whilst placing them as the go-to for commentary on appropriate breaking news stories.
Before starting at Resonance, I’d never even heard of a newsjack, let alone have any idea how to do one. However, over the last few months I’ve learnt that they aren’t as complicated as they seem, and even picked up some handy tips and tricks along the way.
- Stay on top of the news
This is arguably the most important part of a newsjack. You need to be constantly monitoring the news for stories that your clients can comment on. Try setting aside 20 mins before work dedicated to reading the news. I’ve also set up google alerts to track keywords and phrases that might be of relevance.
- Know your clients
Without understanding the ins and outs of your clients you can’t carry out an effective newsjack. You need to know about the spaces they operate in, who their competitors are, who their spokespeople are and their key topics.
Once you know these key points, spotting relevant news will become a whole lot easier!
- Understand Journalism
In order to carry out a successful newsjack, it is important to have a ready-made press list with all your key targets and publications. For some clients, who operate in lots of spaces, there will likely be more than one.
It also good to have a list of a few key journalists that you can send tailored pitches to and increase your chances of securing coverage.
- Act quickly
Speed is everything when it comes to a newsjack – act too slowly and you won’t make the cut. As well identifying the news as quickly as possible, working with your team members will help speed up the process and get it over the line.
The heading says it all. Newsjacks aren’t a one time thing – it’s an ongoing process. Aim to try and do one everyday – whilst this might not happen it’s always good to be ambitious.
Newsjacks are a key part of a PR strategy. A successful newsjack only takes a couple of hours to complete but can generate enough coverage to hit your monthly targets.
Using the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to newsjack success.