As former journalists, one of the many things we excel at here at Motive is spotting news stories that we can jump on and leverage to win coverage and links for our clients.
This is known as reactive PR or newsjacking - actively responding to a news story or situation where your business has an expert opinion or works in the industry or sector.
Reactive PR isn’t for every brand but can be an important element to a PR campaign if it works for you.
If you are looking to jump on to a wider story to win coverage for your brand there are a couple of key things to bear in mind:
Relevance - if you work in a sector which is often in the news, eg: house building, consumer goods, then you’re more likely to find reactive PR works for you. If your sector is rarely talked about, then opportunities may be more sparse.
Speed - are you able to respond quickly. If it’s an active, fast moving news story then a journalist will want your take on it straight away. They won’t be willing to wait a couple of days. You need to make sure you have the capacity internally to work with your PR team on this.
Your audience - do think about who you’re trying to reach and how you’ll come across to them via a reactive PR opportunity. This is where you can build trust and a good reputation for your brand and at the same time remain relevant and authoritative.
Is it appropriate? Not every news story should be seen as an opportunity for reactive PR. Stories about disasters and other tragedies should never be seen as marketing opportunities. Remember to always ask yourself if you really want your brand to be associated with the wider story. Keep your brand values in mind at all times.
We’ve successfully run reactive PR for many clients over the years.
One of our biggest success stories was the London School of Marketing. We pitched them to press as experts in anything marketing related - which they were - and they were soon regular guests on breakfast TV news shows, and commentators in the national and trade press. They commented on everything from the size of tea bags to the brand value of the Beckhams to reputational damage following FIFA investigations.
During our campaign we achieved over 3000 items of coverage and 2000 + backlinks. You can see the full case study here.
Done well, reactive PR will support efforts to reach your key audience and will create trust and credibility.
This is important for any brand so if you have the tools within the business to make reactive PR a success, then it’s worth having in your PR toolkit.
To find out more about the services we offer at Motive PR, please see here.