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How to find the best stories and amplify brand voice in current events

By Jessica McNellis

Consider these best practices and industry examples to weave newsjacking into your PR strategy.


An old man reading a story that appeared via newsjacking.If you caught our blog post about newsjacking and how it can increase your visibility and boost sales, you might have been left wondering exactly how to get started putting this tactic into practice. We’re back with more on how you can find the right stories for newsjacking and examples of how to execute this in the media.


Here are a few angles to begin identifying newsjacking opportunities. 


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Current Events

Timeliness is one of the most important elements to drive earned media coverage as breaking news will always be a top priority for journalists. Suppose you’re eager to generate more brand awareness. Tracking current events relevant to your industry and sharing meaningful insights that add value to that conversation is the best way to get a reporter’s attention. 


Great practices to get started are setting up news alerts and spending the first few minutes of your workday reading the news. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:

  1. Government priorities and how they impact your industry 

While many organizations remove themselves from politics as a general practice, speaking about recent government decisions or how a change in administration and its anticipated priorities will impact your industry is incredibly relevant to the media and your audience. 


Start tracking what decisions are anticipated for the rest of 2024 and how that will impact your industry, and offer an expert from your company as a source to reporters working on those breaking news stories. It’s a great way to generate more earned media coverage in stories that get a lot of eyes. 


For example, if you work in the cybersecurity industry, you might have spotted the SEC’s new cybersecurity rules announced in December 2023. You could share insights with reporters covering the developments or write up a blog post for customers to address what the reporting and disclosure requirements mean for the industry, as well as how security leaders should prepare to comply with these new rules in 2024.


Or, if you work in the franchise industry and spotted the news about the NLRB's new Joint Employer Rule, you could offer a member of your organization as a source to discuss how this rule will redefine the franchisor-franchisee relationship and whether it will impact the broader U.S. economy.


What decisions are expected to come out in the remainder of 2024 that will impact your industry? 

  1. Major merger or partnership news

While companies are quick to capitalize on talking about partnership news, many don’t often think to provide perspective on mergers and partnerships announced by other companies in their industry. 

If you work in the healthcare or insurance industry, consider how the rumored Humana and Cigna merger that made headlines shook up the health insurance landscape, for example. Or, to view it from a different angle: Do you have any insight on how this partnership will skirt around antitrust issues given previous megamergers in the health sector have been blocked? What unique elements might be in play with this specific merger that other insurance companies can learn from? 

What announcements are making waves in your industry lately?

  1. Regional breaking news

If you’re having trouble competing for a voice in the national news market, look into a less competitive space, like the regional markets most important to your client base. Reporters for these local publications are always looking to expand their rolodex of local sources and, in turn, you’re able to get exposure to your target market. 

For example, say you are a construction company based in Texas. Form a perspective about trends driving the uptick in construction in Texas and share it with reporters covering the industry. Or, provide commentary to shed light on why –– despite this uptick –– Houston hasn’t seen the same success as other Texas markets.

What regional markets drive your sales? What are the local issues most important to your target audiences?


Competitor News and Events

While the initial instinct is to avoid amplifying news from your competitors, you might as well be a part of the conversation if the news is making headlines. Here are a few types of announcements to track and add your voice to:

  1. Events

Industry events are a missed opportunity for newsjacking. Oftentimes, key takeaways and interesting insights from these events are shared internally within organizations, but taking time to share those thoughts externally can be a huge engagement driver. 


For example, CES is one of the largest tech events of the year. If you’re attending or participating in any of the talks, it’s a great opportunity to connect with media covering the event to discuss what’s generating buzz. 


As an organization, you can share key takeaways during and post-event about what the industry is watching on social media, in a blog post, or as a recap in your newsletter. Many of your partners and customers may not have the opportunity to attend major industry events, and asserting yourself as a destination for industry updates is a great newsjacking hack.

  1. Research

While your organization may lack the capacity or resources to generate independent research, many organizations release industry reports annually or quarterly. Reviewing the data and sharing your unique insights and analysis offers an incredible opportunity to add value to the media and your audiences. 


Let’s look at the report Accenture released sharing five predictions for the insurance industry in 2024. After reviewing, what other predictions would you add to their roundup? Is there anything missing? Another example would be Deloitte’s 2024 insurance outlook. What additional insight can you add to these findings? 

  1. Thought leadership

As you begin your newsjacking journey, audit other spokespeople in your industry you see regularly featured. What topics are they being quoted on in the news? What reporters are they talking to? What unique insight can you share that’s missing from the conversation? 


Many experienced thought leaders also write contributed articles. Forbes is one channel that regularly has industry leaders contributing articles on their areas of expertise. If you’re looking to get the wheels spinning on industry topics of interest, see what other people are writing about. 


For example, you can use this piece on Why Cybersecurity Is Foundational To AI Safety as a launching point to discuss what the author didn’t touch on. Or, add more perspective on what you’re hearing from partners about generative AI, privacy, and how cybersecurity will play a stronger role. Using that type of content as inspiration for your thought leadership is a great first step.


Listen to your audience.

If you want to create the news instead of following it, start training your ear to lock in on issues your organization, clients, and partners are concerned about. Pay attention to what comes up on client calls and take over conversations to determine what might be a good fit for newsjacking. If one person identifies it as a priority area, it likely is for others. Creating content or alerting the media that this is an issue they should be aware of puts you ahead of the news cycle.


Here are a few questions you should ask yourself throughout the day: 

  1. What are we talking about internally that isn’t getting enough attention in the media? 
  2. What is the media not covering, but should be? 
  3. What emerging industry trends or predictions would reporters want on their radar? 
  4. Is there anything you can share off the record, as an exclusive or on embargo to build a relationship with a key reporter as a priority publication? 
  5. What publications do our target audiences read most, and what stories do those publications prioritize? 

Looking to build more newsjacking tactics into your PR strategy? Check out our other newsjacking blogs and book a one-on-one consultation with us.


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Photo by Daria Obymaha

Topics: earned media, news media

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