by Sophia Dass
Simply put, news jacking involves linking your client to the news agenda. It’s an excellent strategy to raise your profile and position yourself as an expert in your field. However, it’s important to remember that newsjacking is a tactic; the decision to piggyback off a news item must be carefully considered. For example, is it an appropriate story or is there a spokesperson available who is well-versed on the topic?
Below are our top tips to help you become an expert in newsjacking:
Why newsjacking should be a part of your strategy
Well-planned newsjacking provides the opportunity to position your company as the go-to, and your spokesperson (or spokespeople) as thought leaders on the topic at hand. In the short-term, newsjacking can result in immediate coverage. If your newsjacking efforts have been successful thus far, journalists are more likely to reach out to you for insight ahead of breaking news.
Plan for proactive news
There are two types of newsjacking: proactive and reactive. Proactive opportunities are more straightforward as you can easily plan for them in advance. For instance, crafting comments about a new regulation marked in the economic calendar would allow you to pitch ahead of time to key media contacts, thus increasing your chance of coverage.
Jump on reactive news
Reactive newsjacking is slightly more difficult, as there is limited time in which to craft the perfect comment. When a news story breaks, you need to respond as quickly as possible in order to maximise your chance of being quoted. Reactive newsjacking presents the opportunity to reap the benefits of national and/or international coverage, so it’s important to be primed to act at all times!
It’s crucial to recognise that not all news items are appropriate for commentary. Newsjacking poses a high risk with any story that has a particularly negative connotation. Whenever you see an opportunity to newsjack a story, it’s worth investing some deep thought in considering if you are legitimately linked to it.
In all situations, timeliness is key
In order to optimise you chance of coverage, you should aim to respond within an hour of breaking news. This process includes identifying suitability of the opportunity, drafting the comment/statement, getting sign off and pitching to a highly targeted media list.