Newsjacking 101: How to get your story in the news

Mara Antoce

Senior Account Executive

Most businesses want to be positively mentioned by the media – news coverage can be an excellent way to build brand recognition and drive your organisation’s commercial goals. However, getting in the news can be quite an elusive task – where exactly do you even start?

PLMR supports clients with winning coverage in a wide range of publications, and here is everything you should know to help you effectively get in the news or ‘newsjack’.

What is ‘newsjacking’?

Newsjacking refers to commenting on breaking news in order to add your expertise and insights to a developing story. Newsjacking can be a great way to get in the media when you do not have your own announcement to share – you can add your expertise to an already trending story.

Daily monitoring

In order to spot relevant stories on which you might want to comment on, it is very useful to conduct daily media monitoring – this can be a quick review of the most recent stories on the topics relevant to your business. To do this quickly, it is useful to have a list of key terms that you can search once or twice per day in order to spot comment opportunities.

Plan ahead: prepare a key messaging bank

Once there is a story that you think you can add valuable commentary to, acting swiftly is essential to maximising your chances of successfully newsjacking. It is helpful to have prepared in advance template comments or key messaging which can be adapted to reflect the breaking news story. Already knowing the key points that you want to relay and having a template that you can work from will help you prepare a statement in a few minutes and will ensure that you can always get your key messages across.

Plan ahead: prepare a press list

Once you have your statement ready, it is time to issue it. You should share the comment with the journalists who have covered the story which you are reacting to, as well as additional target journalists who usually write on the topic. It is useful to compile a list of journalists relevant to your organisation beforehand. This will help to ensure that your statements are reaching your targets as soon as possible.

Keep doing it  

While the ultimate aim of newsjacking is to have your comment published during the developing story, there are also other valuable outcomes you can achieve. Even though your reactive statement might not be chosen by journalists on every occasion, newsjacking remains a very fruitful exercise as it helps familiarise journalists with your organisation. Regularly issuing statements will help your spokespeople to be understood to be experts on their topic areas, so also journalists will know they can approach you when needed. Thus, newsjacking can yield both immediate and longer-term benefits, and is in all cases an essential tactic in your PR arsenal.

In a space crowded by experts, winning coverage for your business might seem like an impossible task, but these top tips from PLMR should help you boost your media coverage by quickly identifying breaking news stories and issuing expert statements to key targets.

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.