By Evie Porter
Ah yes, the good old newsjack. One of the first things PRs are introduced to at the beginning of their career is the idea of ‘newsjacking’ – seeing something reported in the news, and jumping on it for your client’s benefit.
Back in the day, this used to come in the form of an expert client comment, which would be shared with journalists writing up the story. And if you were lucky, the comment might be used.
Nowadays, there’s a lot of expert comments to compete with, and the ancient art of newsjacking is often completely forgotten. But there’s a way you can make it effective – by using research to your advantage.
Earlier this month, we saw success with one of our Perspectus Global stories, which jumped on news involving a certain Joe Wicks, who, ahem, let rip during one of his live PE lessons.
This got us reminiscing about live TV blunders, and we thought it was a great opportunity to jump on the Wicks news with a fresh new list of the worst TV mistakes ever. Below is an overview of how we did it, and how research can be used to ensure your newsjacking is a success.
1. Jump on it fast
Newsjacking is only going to work if you act quickly. So strike while the iron is hot. Get on the phone to the client first thing, explain what you want to do and secure sign off ASAP. Here at Perspectus, we wrote up our questions swiftly so we could get our research results back in time while the Joe Wicks news was still a hot topic.
2. Think outside the box
Don’t think about traditional news jacking with just a boring comment. How can you use research to elevate it? We decided that a fantastic list of the nation’s favourite TV blunders was the way to go – creating a wider talking point and taking the topic of embarrassing moments up a notch.
3. Get creative
You need to act fast, but make sure your list or research idea is fun, creative and will get people talking. Ensure it has everything you need to spark conversation and secure the top target coverage you want. In this case the public are the experts, so you need to get the consumer out their ASAP while it’s fresh in people’s minds.
4. Write up your story so it’s media friendly
You’ve made it this far, so don’t ruin your chances of the gold standard coverage now. There’s nothing our contacts hate more than a stuffy old press release, so write up the research as news copy using simple, straightforward language and not including brand logos or long notes to editors. This is the style our contacts have come to expect from us at GingerComms, and we find it’s the best way to secure as much coverage as possible.
5. Target a range of media contacts
We were able to secure a range of coverage for our story, from the Mailonline and the Mirror’s website to print pieces like the Star and the Express. If you’ve got a good story, don’t be afraid to share it with a range of contacts, because it’s hugely rewarding when they decide to cover it. With a secured circulation of 2.35 million and estimated online readership of 477 million, it’s research stories like this which can be hugely beneficial and get your clients some smashing coverage.