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The power of newsjacking: five tips to secure strong coverage in media outlets

Capturing the attention of tier one media outlets can significantly boost a company’s visibility and credibility. However, with countless businesses vying for media coverage, standing out can be a daunting task. Enter ‘newsjacking’ - a strategy that involves piggybacking on breaking news or trending topics to inject your brand into the conversation.

When done right, newsjacking can propel your company into the spotlight and secure coverage in top-tier media outlets. Here are five effective ways companies can leverage newsjacking to garner strong coverage:

1. Stay alert and agile:

The key to successful newsjacking lies in being vigilant and responsive to current events. Set up alerts for relevant keywords and follow reputable news sources and social media platforms to stay abreast of breaking news and trending topics. Once you identify a relevant story or trend that aligns with your brand’s values or offerings, act swiftly to craft a timely response or angle that adds value to the conversation. Agility is paramount in newsjacking, as the window of opportunity to capitalise on a trending topic is often fleeting.

2. Provide unique insights or perspectives:

Tier one media outlets are inundated with pitches and press releases daily, making it essential to offer something fresh and compelling to pique their interest. When newsjacking, aim to provide unique insights, expert commentary, or a fresh perspective on the topic at hand. Whether it’s analysing industry implications, offering data-driven insights, or sharing anecdotes from your own experiences, providing value-added content increases the likelihood of securing coverage in top-tier publications.

3. Be relevant and authentic:

While newsjacking can be a powerful tool for garnering media coverage, it's crucial to ensure that your contributions are relevant and authentic. Attempting to shoehorn your brand into unrelated or sensitive topics can backfire, resulting in negative coverage and damage to your brand’s reputation. Instead, focus on identifying opportunities where your brand’s expertise or offerings naturally align with the news story or trend. Authenticity is key - ensure that your contributions are genuine and add value to the conversation rather than coming across as opportunistic or self-serving.

4. Cultivate relationships with journalists:

Building strong relationships with journalists can significantly enhance your outreach efforts

through newsjacking. Take the time to research and identify journalists who cover topics

relevant to your industry or niche. Engage with them on social media, share their articles, and provide value through insightful comments or contributions. When newsjacking opportunities arise, reach out to your network of media contacts with tailored pitches or story angles that demonstrate your understanding of their beat and audience preferences. Cultivating genuine relationships based on mutual respect and trust can increase the likelihood of securing coverage in tier one media outlets.

5. Monitor and measure results:

Effective newsjacking requires continuous monitoring and evaluation to gauge the impact of your efforts. Utilise analytics tools to track metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, media mentions, and brand sentiment following newsjacking efforts. By analysing these insights, you can identify what worked well, what could be improved, and iterate on your strategy in the future. Remember, newsjacking is an ongoing process of adaptation and refinement, so embrace a mindset of continuous learning and improvement.

Newsjacking can be a powerful strategy for companies looking to secure coverage in tier one media outlets. By staying alert, providing unique insights, being relevant and authentic, cultivating relationships with journalists, and monitoring results, companies can effectively newsjack to enhance their brand visibility and credibility in the media. However, it’s essential to approach newsjacking with sensitivity and tact, ensuring that your contributions add value to the conversation rather than detracting from it. With careful planning and execution, newsjacking can be a valuable tool for companies seeking to elevate their presence in the media and reach a broader audience.

Written by Samiha Fariha, senior associate at PR agency Golin. You can reach Samiha by X / Twitter or by LinkedIn.

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