What is newsjacking?

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Newsjacking can describe a multitude of things. Traditionally, this tactic would entail responding to a specific news article by letter — like you would see on the Editor’s letter page of a national newspaper.

Laura England, senior account executive, Stone Junction


However, newsjacking can also describe responding to a well-covered news story more generally, either by writing a press release or issuing an open letter to generate media coverage for your organisation.

Naturally, the story needs to be something you can actually comment on with authority. A wind turbine manufacturer may not be best placed to comment on the World Cup, but commenting on the Government’s Environmental Strategy? That would be ideal.

That said, you should only choose to news-jack stories that can generate relevant and interesting coverage for your organisation. Big industry news, like a government announcement, is ideal if your opinion is different and will take the argument a step forward. However, simply agreeing with existing news isn’t newsworthy.

Newsjacking also needs to be timely. That’s why, at Stone Junction, we call it a rapid response. Before putting pen to paper, you should also consider the best response mechanism for the media you’re targeting. For example, the Financial Times uses a specific style and layout for its letters pages. By writing your letter in the format of the publication you’re responding to, you increase the likelihood of its publication.

Alternatively, if you are planning to write a response in an open format, you should include references to the original story. This can then be sent to magazines that are likely to have covered the original news story.

Newsjacking is an opportunity to provide credible opinion on news that impacts your industry — and get your name in print in the process.

At Stone Junction, we constantly monitor national, regional and trade media to identify rapid response opportunities for our clients. To find out more about how we implement this into PR campaigns, speak to the team for a free consultation.

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