KAFFEINE / Public Relations, Retail & Property , Travel & Tourism

How to master issue Newsjacking to increase your brand voice

31 January 2022

When the government announced its Plan B measures we ensured that Croydon Business Improvement District (BID)’s CEO, Matthew Sims, was a key commentator and regularly interviewed by the national press.

We did this by running a focused newsjacking campaign that enabled the BID and Matthew Sims demonstrate leadership, set out a clear plan of action and champion the needs of over 100,000 businesses to government.

Newsjacking is when a brand responds quickly to a breaking news story with comment or action that places them at the heart of the conversation in a manner that helps them demonstrate leadership on a particular issue.   

Use our eight-point guide below to help your brand get newsjacking right, show leadership and deliver change on issues important to you. 

Our eight-point guide below ensures our clients gets newsjacking right for their brand, shows leadership and delivers change on issues important to them. Get in touch to see how we can help.

1. Know what you stand for and the audiences you want to influence. A breaking news story is not the time to take a hard look at your brand and work out what your viewpoint is on an issue and why it matters.  Know the issues you want to have a point of view on and the audience you want to influence before you plan how you’re going to respond. For Croydon BID, it was about standing up for its member businesses and others like them across the UK, share a clear plan and call to government for support and funding. For success make sure you spend time to really understand your audiences and the best way to influence them. Speak to us about audience targeting and influence campaigns.    

2. Develop messaging that cuts through.  When a big media issue is in play there are often many brands putting forward points of view. To be successful you need messaging that is genuinely interesting in national media and will move the story forward. For Croydon BID’s campaign we provided case studies of businesses owners that supported the campaign’s central call for government to act as well as wider stats and facts showing the economic impact of the new restrictions. Speak to us about our brand messaging workshops and how it helps brands develop effective points of view with compelling content to bring argument to life in the media.   

3. Plan how you’re going to act. Your point of view will be more powerful if you are able to act in a manner that demands attention. Know the options open to you before the issue takes off. For Croydon BID, we coordinated an open letter to the Chancellor signed by other BIDs, retail and hospitality organisations which meant our campaign was speaking on behalf of over 100,000 businesses. Our initiative ensured traction in the media and attention from government. 

4. Media train spokespeople.  No one, no matter how confident, should be learning how to speak to the media for the first time when they’re dealing with a major news issue.  Invest in media training for spokespeople before the event to help deliver your point with impact and help keep journalists coming back for more. Find out more about our Media Training.

5. Cultivate contacts and warm up journalists to your views ahead of the issue breaking: If possible, give journalists notice prior to an issue breaking the that you can provide reaction. Many journalists will be planning ahead and have their ‘hit list’ of commentators for issues ready well in advance. It is also good practice to have a regular contact programme in place between your key spokespeople and journalists important to your brand. This helps build understanding about your company in the media and gives you a solid base of awareness to build from when an issue strikes. Speak to us about our journalist contact programme

6. Be quick: Speed is of the essence on a breaking news story. Where possible, ensure your spokespeople are poised to approve statements and have time allocated in their schedule for interviews. We ensured Croydon BID were first of out of the gates to call on government to review funding following Plan B, and then enhanced the media interest via the case studies we provided.

7. Don’t forget paid media: Generating press attention is great way of getting your message across. But, also consider how a paid media strategy can support and enhance the PR campaign. Buying media space enables ensures your message is carried across the channels important to you and is particularly cost effective, especially as part of an integrated campaign approach. Speak to us about paid media and integrated campaigns.

8. Maintain momentum:  The hardest part of issue management newsjacking is getting media attention. Our advice above will help you get that attention. Once traction is gained don’t stop.  Put in place a proactive communications campaign that builds on what you’ve achieved and keeps you front of mind and valued by the audiences you value most. 

Get in touch for help and advice in generating measurable communications campaigns that will help your business grow.

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