Quick Thinking PR: Newsjacking and the ‘Rapid Response’ 

By Lottie Hutchins, Account Manager, Touchdown PR

One of the most important aspects of PR is being on the pulse of breaking news. When a multinational company suffers from a network outage or is struck by a ransomware attack, it’s critical for our clients to not only know about it but be able to react to it. This is a tactic we call ‘newsjacking’ or a ‘rapid response’. 

Rapid responses get our clients’ voices heard in relation to a real-life situation. It’s one thing to say you provide disaster recovery – it’s far more valuable to showcase your expertise through advice and guidance. So, what makes for a successful rapid response? 

Prepared and media-trained experts

Before jumping on a news story, it’s important to consider the vendor experts who can contribute commentary. We recommend profiling a senior and/or technical employee as this will bring a level of gravitas and expertise to the quote. It is crucial that the expert we offer to the press is prepared and comfortable in speaking to the media, especially in case of a golden national or broadcast interview opportunity. When it comes to speaking to the BBC, for example, it’s vital our spokesperson can offer exactly what the journalist needs to add to their story.

Knowing when to pitch 

Simple: as soon as possible! Acting fast after a technical disaster is the only way you’d be in with a chance of being included in a story write up. As an international agency with offices around the world, we are fortunate to have teams online and ready to react as our 24/7 newsjacking service. 

Robust media reactions

Our strong relationships with relevant, key journalists mean we can pitch these quotes to a range of outlets and frequently secure high tier coverage. Our media lists are extensive, and an in-depth knowledge of exactly what each journalist wants to cover is crucial for a successful rapid response effort.

We have a proven recipe for success when it comes to newsjacking. Recently, we identified an opportunity that resulted in top tier trade and national coverage for a number of cybersecurity-focused clients. Overnight the news broke that the world’s biggest cruise operator, Carnival Corporation, had fallen victim to a ransomware attack. First thing the next morning, we convened with our clients that we knew could offer valuable industry guidance. From our quick thinking and available expert commentary, we achieved results in many of the UK’s top business and technology trade publications. A particular highlight was coverage in the Daily Express (300,000+ circulation) for our client, cloud security vendor Bitglass

If you’re interested to find out how we can do the same for your business, get in touch at info@touchdownpr.com.

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