Review and hijack. Top tips for landing a reactive news story

Reactive PR and newsjacking is an incredibly valuable tool to help your grow your client’s reputation in their industry.

Newsjacking, when done properly, will drive your client to the forefront of their industry’s field and provide a platform to be seen as an authoritative voice. It isn’t just beneficial for the client, but journalist relationships will grow as they continue to see you as a helpful source of opinions and insight.

Here are the three top tips to make sure your reactive approach lands:

It is absolutely vital that you work quickly, if you are jumping on the back of a news story that was published a day or so ago, then it is probably too late. The sooner you can respond to a story being published, the more likely it is that it will land.

Add value
Ask yourself, ‘what does this add to the existing story?’ If you can’t answer that question, then a journalist is unlikely to take your hijack. But if you have new expert insight, stats, predictions or a case study then you are adding value so pitch away.

Plan to be reactive
Newsjacking can be pre-emptive. If you are looking to highjack awareness days, large scale events, sport competitions or government statements, you can start to craft your statement before the day and then fine tune it with specifics when the story lands.

Newsjacking isn’t easy and not everything you do will land but when it does it is a very useful way of achieving cut through (and making clients happy).

Here are some amazing tools that can be used to support newsjacking efforts:

Buzzsumo is a great listening tool where you can search for any term and it will show you articles about that topic. A go-to for researching a topic and what media are talking about.

Ahrefs. One of the many great things on Ahrefs is the keyword explorer, this basically provides insight into your keyword of choice. From most asked questions, to how many people are searching it, this tool allows you to take a deep dive into any topic.

Google Trends. Arguably the first port of call for people in PR looking for stats to support newsjacking.It is always useful to understand how many people are searching for particular topics. If people are talking about it then journalists are more likely to write about it.

Exploding Topics. A great free tool used to find the topics that are emerging from different sectors.

You are now ready to spread your wings and embark on your newsjacking journey. And remember not to feel disheartened if your reactive doesn’t land. By being in the know of the industry and keeping an eye on what everyone else is doing, will help you achieve cut through when the right reactive story presents itself.

And just like Blue Peter… here is an example of one we did earlier in the year before the day. For this we worked with our dental client, TePe, to compile some tips on how to look after your children’s teeth at Easter. A few hours of writing, quick sign off and good media list lead to some great timely coverage.