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MAY 27, 2021 //     

Boosting Brand Exposure: Tips on how to Newsjack Effectively in 2021

By Emma Poleszuk and Taylor Burke 

Newsjacking is a crucial part of any PR campaign, and ensures brands stay informed, relevant and one step ahead of the curve. But how can you ensure you’re setting up your agencies for success when it comes to quick and nimble newsjacking, and giving them what they need to fully maximise these opportunities?

The past year has shown us that things can change or pivot in an instant, and consumers expect brands to be culturally relevant with a finger on the pulse, at all times. Trends can last weeks or come and go in a 48 hour period, and it’s important to act quickly for maximum impact. 

Whether it’s enabling your brand to divert from the agreed social calendar to jump on the latest Instagram trend or prepping your hospitality spokespeople for a last minute interview on last night’s unexpected Covid regulations, remaining agile is key to ensure you’re getting it right at the right time. 

Because newsjacking is all about timeliness, it’s imperative that in-house teams and agencies work in lockstep. 

Here are three strategic opportunities when it comes to newsjacking: 

    1. Keep the bigger picture in mind: It’s important to realise that although self-serving content may seem like the easiest way to demonstrate your offering, consumers are looking for content that answers their questions and provides solutions to their personal circumstances. Taking the time to understand and monitor the external environment and how your brand is showing up in their world is so important. This relevant and personalised approach will help build meaningful relationships and ensure people remember your brand for the right reasons
    2. Trust your teams: No one person can monitor the news 100% of the time, but having an agency team comes close! Trust us to do the legwork and recognise what’s worth jumping on and what will be old news by tomorrow. It’s our responsibility, no matter the industry or sector, to monitor the news, whether that’s online, print, blogs, social. Wherever a story could start gaining momentum, chances are your PR team saw it yesterday. Trusting their expertise and allowing them to pivot from an agreed upon strategy can lead to impactful results. But trust is earned - to ensure success, align on agency collaboration roles and responsibilities early in your relationship around the topics your brand is comfortable having a voice in and potentially activating around. This will ensure teams can act agile and jump on trends that best suit your brand.
    3. Go big when it fits with your brand objectives: With recent lockdowns and remote working, consumers have been keyed into their smart devices more than ever - and this habit is likely to stay. Newsjacking is relevant for social media, digital publications and even seminars or events. By entering a current cultural conversation in a big way, you can instantly raise brand awareness and credibility. Set budget aside and be ready to invest in newsjacking assets and extra team hours so you can really make a splash when the impromptu moment is right for your brand. And - similarly to the above - lean on your agency team to tell you when, where and how much you should be activating for a strong return. 

Newsjacking is so critical to a brand’s communication plans that Allison+Partners has a separate division for the specialty. Called TapIN, colleagues across the globe scour countless platforms to identify the biggest and best trends in society. The result? Creative, clever ideas for brands to enter conversations and be in the limelight on the consumer stage. 

So go on: take the plunge and get your brand involved in the latest trends. And to really get started, tune in to our The Stream podcast, where we dive even more in-depth on the best newsjacking tips and tricks. Whether it be best timing practices, executing across platforms or something else, you’ll be ready to hit the newsjacking ground running. 

Emma Poleszuk and Taylor Burke are Account Directors at Allison+Partners. To find out more on how Allison+Partners can help your brand leverage newsjacking, get in touch with us here.

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