Newsjacking. It may sound like a guerrilla PR tactic, but it is exactly the opposite.
Newsjacking is about helping out a journalist by providing them with a rapid response to a news article. You could say it’s a win-win situation: the journalist has some good input for a follow-up article and you(r client) gets quoted in the second paragraph. And the good news is that anyone can do it. If you want to figure out how, our new white paper ‘The New Rules of Media Relations: A Practical Guide To Newsjacking’ will help you to get started (or improve your skills). Not only does it covers the basics of newsjacking, the white paper also includes some inspiring examples and explains how the rise of online content and social media have made it even more important to hop on the news bandwagon.
Basically, there are five vital elements you should keep in mind if you want to start newsjacking.
1. Be fast
Time is a critical success factor. You don’t have to be there first, but the sooner you can get a reaction in front of a journalist, the higher the chance you will be included in the second paragraph of a follow-up article.
2. Add value
Ensure you add value to the discussion before you pick up the phone. For example, disagree with what’s been stated in the article or add something to the discussion that wasn’t mentioned before.
3. Provide proof
No matter how you respond, always make sure you have proof points to offer a journalist. If you can’t prove what you’re saying, it’s probably not worth writing about.
4. Keep the audience in mind
Always keep the audience of a journalist in mind: what do they already know and what is the tone of voice? If a newsjack results in an interview with an organization’s spokesperson, they have to be aware of the target audience. What is the journalist is looking for and what should be put forward during the interview? Prepare statements and help to ensure that those key messages are mentioned during the interview.
5. Choose the best route to respond
The final relevant question is how to respond. Is it better to leave a comment below the article, or to contact the journalist on the phone or by email?
Often the best way is to drop a line to a journalist, in which you make clear (a) what you are adding to the debate and (b) why you have the expertise to give your opinion. If your organization has a blog, an alternative is to respond on your blog and share it with the journalist who wrote the story. By doing so, you create your own, direct audience.
Want to learn more? Download ‘The New Rules of Media Relations; A Practical Guide To Newsjacking’. We are always interested to learn about other best practices in newsjacking, so please share them in the comments below!