Newsjacking – or using news agenda stories as a hook for what you have to say – is an important PR tactic. It can lead to powerful and far-reaching results, enabling you to leverage your own messaging via national or business media stories. It’s something we incorporate into client campaigns, enabling us to place them in the bigger picture, secure coverage in broadcast, business and national media to extend the reach of engaging with target audiences.
We’ve recently worked on two newsjacking opportunities, both off the back of government announcements. The first was when new National Insurance updates were announced to help fill the gap with social care funding – we acted fast to draft a comment for cloud and digital transformation expert Agilisys. For Agilisys, it’s important that they are known as a trusted partner to their customers, providing technology expertise and support. Putting forward comment for these newsjacking opportunities helps to build up that positioning and place Agilisys at the forefront of the conversation around digital transformation within public sector and healthcare.
Time is of the essence with reactive opportunities, like this so we used our knowledge of the client and its positioning to create a concise comment that focused on why data will play a major role in reforming social care budgets. The comment reflected Agilisys’ position as a trusted technology partner for public sector organisations and added depth to the story for target media.
This was quickly approved by the client allowing us to distribute it in a timely manner to top tier media titles. The comment was used in leading global health and social care facilities title, Building Better Healthcare’s coverage of the news, positioning Agilisys at the forefront of the conversation around digital transformation reaching key decision makers in public sector and healthcare.
Ahead of the 2021 Autumn budget we were monitoring the inclusion of news regarding fuel duty, with the Chancellor either announcing to keep it frozen or to lift it. This was a prime opportunity for our client, fleet management software company Vimcar, who are seen as a friend of the SME offering guidance and reassurance, particularly to the SME audience on what the changes might mean for them.
We proactively drafted two comments, depending on the outcome on the day, meaning we were able to issue the relevant comment almost immediately after the budget announcement, maximising coverage opportunities. We also spoke with key media targets ahead of the Budget announcement to find out if they would be covering the news, and if they would be interested in comment from Vimcar.
As fuel duty remained frozen, we issued comment focusing on the relief SMEs would be feeling and how driver behaviour and fleet management can also be used to help keep fuel costs down. This was issued to top tier media targets with coverage including Fleet News.
While you can plan for some newsjacking opportunities, others will be more reactive and require quick thinking. Solid messaging and understanding of the client’s positioning, combined with strong media contacts are useful in both instances, as is a proactive approach to maximise the real potential for coverage and visibility.