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How ‘newsjacking’ fits into a successful B2B PR strategy

How ‘newsjacking’ fits into a successful B2B PR strategy

How ‘newsjacking’ fits into a successful B2B PR strategy

What is newsjacking all about?

‘Newsjacking’ is the process of inserting your brand’s message into breaking news by offering relevant and concise comments. If implemented effectively and timely, newsjacking can help B2B brands achieve broad coverage, including in national press, raise their profile, promote brand awareness and drive more website traffic.

The benefits of using newsjacking in your B2B public relations (PR)

Newsjacking is an important part of your public relations (PR) toolbox that complements other activities, such as creating your own brand narratives and pitching them to press according to a pre-planned calendar of activities.

By weaving your brand and your spokespeople’s comments into current news stories, you:

  • establish credibility,
  • strengthen the authority of your brand,
  • build valuable relationships with key journalists,
  • and raise awareness among a wide audience group.

If it’s a recurring story that’s being covered in great detail and over a longer period of time, your spokespeople can become the go-to subject matter experts that journalists regularly turn to for comment and insights.

‘Newsjacking’ requires a deep understanding of the media landscape, journalists’ ways of working and editorial deadlines, as well as careful monitoring of emerging and current stories.

Newsjacking - expert insights into breaking news

The challenges and opportunities related to newsjacking

In 2020, newsjacking has become harder for companies for a variety of reasons. The news in the UK has been largely focused on two major topics — the pandemic and Brexit —narrowing the scope of potential topics suitable for newsjacking. At the same time, new conversations have emerged around the environment and the future of the traditional workplace, creating opportunities for related comments and insights.

Strike the right balance when newsjacking

An important newsjacking challenge is to strike the right balance between offering a company’s view on a story while not appearing too self-serving. For instance, pitching your company’s comment on a recent official guidance on remote working might be useful and relevant, as long as it shows your expertise/offers relevant facts rather than describes your new solution. 

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Clumsy attempts at newsjacking can damage your reputation

Newsjacking can backfire when attempts are angled towards sensitive issues, human or natural disasters, or situations that people might find generally upsetting. We can still remember that Grenfell Tower pitch gone wrong! It’s important to read the room and consider what implications your ‘newsjack’ might have.

Also, pitching too much and too often without something relevant or applicable to the story will have a negative impact too. If journalists see your name popping up in their inbox often without giving them something valuable, this might damage the relationship.

It’s crucial to pick and choose your opportunities — one great opportunity is better than three mediocre ones. The same goes for picking the right media too. For breaking news stories, we might be tempted to hit up the news desks of every top tier outlet, but this scattergun approach isn’t always effective as your angle won’t be tailored to specific contacts. Instead, you should build topic-specific newsjacking media lists so you can reach the right people at the right time.

Newsjacking - comments in online media

4 top tips for a strong newsjacking foundation

By following the below key steps, you will put in place a strong newsjacking foundation for when the right opportunity does comes up:

  1. Be informed – check the news first thing in the morning. Stay on top of the latest stories and be delicate with sensitive topics!
  2. Be the first – preparation is key so you don’t get lost in a sea of pitches. Have a bank of pre-approved canned comments that are ready to go within minutes.
  3. Be creative – set yourself apart from the others.
  4. Be relevant – yesterday’s news won’t do!
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Taking the next steps

To learn more about B2B PR newsjacking and how it can help you, contact our PR specialists today.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: How to write a B2B press release

READ this Tech PR case study: How SELiS used press interviews to show Thought Leadership

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
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The vital role of PR in Sales

The vital role of PR in Sales

The vital role of PR in Sales

Let’s examine the role of PR in Sales

A well-executed PR campaign plays into all stages of your customer’s journey—putting more leads in your pipeline, nurturing your prospects as they move down through the funnel, and building enough trust to seal the deal.

In this way, PR campaigns can help your salespeople to convert more leads into prospects and more prospects into conversions, therefore boosting the bottom line – just like advertising, direct outreach, and other marketing campaigns that are often more directly linked to conversions.

PR broadens your reach

There’s no doubt about it; the brand awareness buzz that good PR creates can help you capture more leads.

Carefully selected placements and media mentions ignite conversations that help boost your presence in the real world. These help create high-value backlinks and referral traffic, to improve your rankings in the search results – putting your brand firmly on the map.

This boosted presence in the marketplace, ultimately translates to more leads entering the top of your sales funnel—and not just any leads, but leads that are well-acquainted with your brand, and already have a level of familiarity with your product or service.

celebrating the brand awareness buzz from good PR

PR helps position your brand

A well-executed PR campaign can attract more ideal prospects by perfectly positioning your brand in the marketplace.

Whatever the qualities that make up your brand identity—from the cool sophistication of Apple, to the visionary courage of Tesla—a good PR campaign can showcase those qualities, demonstrating to your target audience that your product or service has the characteristics needed to solve their specific problem.

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An 8-step communication strategy to help you win new business

PR shapes your brand story

Among other media strategies, placements in carefully selected publications can evoke these qualities by creating a strong narrative. The power of stories was illustrated in an experiment by Stanford professor Chip Heath, who asked students to give one minute speeches containing three statistics and one story. Afterwards, only five percent of listeners recalled the statistics, while more than sixty percent remembered the stories.

Whether your story is one celebrating your achievements—commercial or otherwise—or promoting your culture and purpose, narratives can hit emotions that resonate amidst endless noise. The strength of this emotional association is what helps you remain top of mind, on their consideration list, and build a reputation that keeps your customers coming back to your brand, instead of your competitors.

In this way, exposure in the right places doesn’t just draw more leads into the top of your funnel, but they trickle down through the sales process, ensuring prospects are receptive to your brand, and likely to trust you enough to feel good about working with you, as opposed to your competitor.

effective PR helps build trust

PR builds trust

Trust in institutions—including businesses, government, and the media—is at a low ebb, according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer. This erosion of trust is particularly noticeable in the tech industry, where the pace of change has become so fast that many feel left behind—waiting for their jobs to be replaced by automated bots or AI.

PR can help overcome this lack of trust

by creating a strong relationship with customers through what infamous Psychology and Marketing professor Robert Cialdini calls pre-suasion:

“The process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. Strategically guiding preliminary attention, to move prospects into an agreement with the marketing message before they ever experience it.”

While B2B PR blogs can help to establish authority, and paid placements in established publications can demonstrate your credibility, appearing in the editorial section of a magazine or newspaper is the gold standard for building trust. Because these articles have been independently endorsed by a trusted third party, their credibility runs deeper than blogs, paid placements or advertisements, helping you to build a great brand reputation and win real lasting trust with your audience.

PR helps overcome customer objections

At the end of a customer’s journey, unforeseen objections can suddenly arise that are guaranteed to make a new salesperson sweat. A robust, strategically planned PR campaign can anticipate and address these customer objections before they are presented—making the life of a salesman a little easier.

According to research from DemandGen, 41 percent of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content before even engaging with a salesperson.

Content published on your owned channels, such as social media and website can help overcome common sales objections, including hesitancy over pricing and misunderstanding of benefits.

More effective however, is third-party content.

A study conducted by Nielsen in 2014 revealed that third-party “expert content ” was even more effective at lifting purchase considerations than user reviews, with PR boosting familiarity significantly more than branded content.

“On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content and 50 percent more than user reviews; they lifted affinity 50 percent more than branded content and 20 percent more than user reviews.”

By tying this type of content into your sales process, through links in emails or social media, the strength of ‘expert content’ can be fully capitalised on, to help avoid last-minute complications, overcome objections, and reinforce the customer’s buying decision.

So, to summarise; from bringing more primed leads into the top of the funnel, to building trust and overcoming sales objections, a solid PR strategy and campaign plan can make life easier for your sales teams, directly boosting your bottom line and having a positive impact on your brand reputation.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: Your 8-step communication strategy

READ this related post: B2B Content and B2B PR…and why you need a strategy for both

look at this infographic: 18 Business Benefits of a Communication Strategy

PR in Sales: We have won new business because of our communication strategy
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‘Shining a Light’ on Pacer Optoelectronics

‘Shining a Light’ on Pacer Optoelectronics

Pacer - Thought Leadership

‘Shining a light’ on complex tech

Pacer case study: Shining a light on complex tech

BACKGROUND

For the past 30 years, Pacer has been the optoelectronics partner of choice for its OEM customers seeking specialist knowledge. Light is the theme that links all its customers – whether in the medical, military, commercial, industrial or security sectors.

Problem

Pacer’s Marketing Communications Manager, Wendy Vinson, believed that the business was missing out on opportunities to showcase its technical prowess and reinforce its leadership status through bespoke thought leadership but with limited resources, external support was needed.

Pacer logo

SOLUTION

EC-PR designed and delivered a focused thought leadership programme that would help to not only shine a light on the unique optoelectronic expertise Pacer delivers to its customers, but provide the business development team with engaging and insightful material to open doors to new business.  The campaign included development of a brilliant ideas bank and thought leadership articles – all of which were placed, guaranteeing coverage.

 

Outcome

“What attracted me to EC-PR, particularly Lorraine and Liz, was their absolute conviction in delivering results.  Its 100% track record in placing feature articles came to the fore within this campaign, giving me complete confidence in their approach and ability to deliver.  The programme has ignited significant interest within the business in the importance of media engagement and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work with EC-PR.”

Wendy Vinson

Marketing Communications Manager, Pacer

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How EC-PR helped a leading UK tech brand find their USP, and make their voice be heard in a crowded market.

How EC-PR helped a leading UK tech brand find their USP, and make their voice be heard in a crowded market.

How EC-PR helped a leading UK tech brand find their USP, and make their voice be heard in a crowded market.

If there’s one thing everyone absolutely loves, it’s the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of your labour and here at EC-PR we’re no different. Now, we don’t usually write a blog about our successes, as the norm is to turn them into case studies, but we felt the communication strategy we implemented for 2i deserved a little bit more of a ‘shout-out’! We’re super proud of what we achieved with them and, more importantly, it’s made such a positive difference to their planning, marketing, PR, communications and, ultimately, their bottom line, that we wanted to share it.

About 2i –a ‘complex’ tech brand

With three different offices around the UK, 2i is a very successful software testing consultancy who employ over 120 staff. They provide a variety of software testing services to some very large, very blue-chip, clients; such as Virgin Money, the Scottish Government and Aberdeen Standard to name a few.

A technical, risk-based proposition

Their proposition is deemed as quite complex yet crucial;  in that their services help to minimise the risks involved when large corporations are introducing new software or making software changes and rolling them out – company, or client-wide.  These large-scale transitions can be fraught with issues, bugs, risks and challenges. All of which can have a hugely negative impact on their business and reputation, if not carefully managed and quality assured, from the very earliest opportunity.

2i’s role is to ensure that all the software & technology works EXACTLY as it should, and the end user experience is as per the defined spec.

The PR challenge

The challenge was 2-fold. 2i know that they deliver an exceptionally high-quality service to their clients, but they struggled to articulate how they differentiated themselves within the busy tech landscape, in other words, they had no USP!

Secondly, not enough people knew about their great service because they had very low brand awareness within the marketplace.

a usp will help get you through the maze impacting planning, marketing and sales!

The PR solution

A robust and engaging communication strategy was required to help 2i achieve their marketing goals of identifying their USP, differentiating themselves and increasing their brand awareness. We needed to help 2i have a louder, more authoritative voice in the market and stop them from being a ‘well-kept secret’.

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Stakeholder workshops

We worked very closely with Dave Kelly and his leadership team, to deliver a number of workshops, focusing on the six key component parts of a communication strategy;  their value proposition; a bespoke delivery model, industry prioritisation; target personas; positioning statements and the messaging.

Our workshops enabled the key stakeholders to align on important factors, to ensure consistency and clarity across the business, minimised ambiguity and helped present the very best version of themselves as a business.

Review of brand assets and materials

And we didn’t stop there!  We undertook research to ensure the plan was aligned with their customers’ perceptions, we reviewed their brand assets and identified gaps where further materials were required (which we wrote for them) and we helped find and appoint a creative branding agency.  Phew! It was hard work, but the results made it all worth it…

a USP is central to planning, marketing, communications and sales

The (phenomenal) results!

The strategy we developed with them now forms the backbone of all 2i’s comms – informing and guiding their business development and marketing communications.

We asked Dave Kelly, their MD what impact the communications strategy has had on their business, and he gave us not one, not two, but eighteen (yes eighteen!)  different benefits they’ve experienced, in only 3 months!   You can see the full 18 in all their glory, in our infographic below.   If you want to hear more about how we worked with Dave at 2i and how we could do the same for you, then get in touch.

18 Benefits of a
communication strategy

Three months after assurance and testing business 2i formally launched its communication strategy, we asked Managing Director, Dave Kelly, what impact it’s had on business.

  1. We have won new business
  2. Our tenders are more persuasive
  3. Prospects are more interested in what we have to say
  4. Starting conversations is easier and we get to the issue quicker
  5. We are clearly differentiated from our competitors
  6. Our Leadership is more clearly aligned
  7. Our people are more engaged with the business and understand where they fit
  8. We are more consistent in the way we all talk about 2i
  9. We know exactly who we should be targeting saving time and resources
  10. We know what we should be saying to secure interest
  1. We feel we are now presenting the best version of 2i to the wider world
  2. There is less ambiguity in our communication internally and externally
  3. It has made recruiting quality people less challenging
  4. Our external communications are better aligned
  5. Our LinkedIn activity is more focused
  6. We are more visible, valued & understood in our marketplace
  7. Our engagement with clients to give them the focus they deserve has been accelerated
  8. The assets we are building are future-proofed

Dave Kelly

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: Your 8-step communication strategy

READ this Tech PR case study: How SELiS used press interviews to show Thought Leadership

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

We have won new business because of our communication strategy
EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

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What B2B Public Relations can do for you and your company

What B2B Public Relations can do for you and your company

What B2B Public Relations can do for you and your company

Public Relations (PR) is a key component of the full marketing mix, and as part of your overall communications strategy, it’s instrumental in driving brand awareness, recognition, and consideration – ultimately guiding more leads and conversions, whilst contributing to the overall growth of your business.

This article will help you to understand how PR can benefit your company and why you should pay for expert PR advice.

How does PR benefit your company?

PR builds a compelling relationship between your brand and your target audience before your audience even enters the buying cycle. This relationship is developed over time, built on trust, and delivered through endorsement from independent, authoritative, sector experts.

PR is the proactive management of everything you say and everything you do, in order to positively impact the way you’re perceived by your target audience. This ‘Third party, high value coverage’ provides awareness, recognition, and accolades in those media channels which you don’t own. These third-party endorsements are from highly respected and influential sources and provide credibility and authority for your brand.

Media endorsement in b2b is the equivalent of celebrity endorsement in b2c 

Filling your sales funnel

As a marketeer, it’s your job to attract and nurture potential customers, meaning you need to generate brand awareness amongst your target audience, and nurture them until they are ready to consider purchasing your goods and services. The key principles of any good PR strategy are to make you visible, valued and understood; delivered as part of a comprehensive communication strategy to drive consistency and impact. The outcome of that activity should provide you with a densely populated top of funnel. This is how PR benefits your business and increases the impact of your marketing.

public relations helps fils your sale funnel
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A brand with authority and influence

An effective PR programme should be designed to ensure that you are regularly interviewed by respected editors, achieving recognition in influential third-party media, and being invited to contribute insight to authoritative industry reports.  By becoming an integral and respected part of the fabric of your industry, you influence the shape and direction of discussions, while acquiring authority and influence – which will ultimately attract better-quality prospects into your funnel. This structure, discipline and proactivity is what you pay for when you outsource your PR to experts.

 

public relations is shines a light on your brand

A visible and dynamic force in your industry

Being visible means you are findable and accessible, and that you have a high media profile in the right industry titles, so that your target audience is exposed to you, whether that’s actively or passively. High visibility means regular and diverse formats, i.e. a given story or opinion is ‘sweated’ so that every ounce of potential opportunity is squeezed from it.  ‘Sweating’ your stories means that once it’s appeared in the press, it can then be re-formatted and presented in multiple forms and pushed out through paid and owned channels – ensuring your asset has been fully optimised.  The impact of this is that you command a greater and more influential share of voice – pushing your competitors into the shadows.

 

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Articulating a clear competitive advantage

Being valued means putting your customer at the heart of everything you say and do, in order to engage with them in a way that is both relevant and persuasive.  It’s not possible to be valued if you’re irrelevant to a person’s wants or needs.  To engage and achieve desirability, you need to develop a compelling messaging strategy as part of your communication plan and weave that into everything you create. If you approach your PR in this way, you will have a golden thread of narrative that ensures you are both clearly differentiated from, and superior to, any of your competitors claims.

Many clients operate in unique and complex markets, especially industries such as engineering, science, and technology.   The PR expertise required in these industries is in translating their complex solutions and achievements into interesting and engaging articles and news, so that their target audiences can understand your proposition, align with your brand and applaud your achievements.

Engineers, scientists, and technologists deliver our quality of life, keep us safe and will one day save the world – there is a real pleasure in translating their achievements to ensure they are fully understood.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our essential guide: Your 8-step Communication Strategy

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice – 18 Benefits from a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

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How to Become a Thought Leader cover

How to become a thought leader

Thought Leadership in STEM industries is essential as a way of driving innovation, producing exciting solutions and sharing new ideas...

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10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

10 Business Benefits of B2B PR

One of the key questions we often hear is along the lines of “Why do I need to do PR?” or “What will PR do for my business?” and the reality is that there are so many benefits of PR, the list is endless, but we want to focus on the main PR benefits and so we’ve highlighted the top 10 reasons your brand should have a PR strategy.

Depending on what stage of maturity your company has reached, you’ll have different business challenges, priorities, and drivers.  PR can be used to help you address a wide range of specific business  and marketing objectives.

Always aligned to your company’s vision, mission and goals, PR is ever present and supremely agile.

Here are our 10 key reasons why your company should do PR as part of your comms plan.

10 reasons your needs PR infographic

How your business will benefit from PR

Enhanced lead generation:

PR complements your marketing initiatives by showcasing your successes in editorial case studies. It keeps you visible as prospects move through the buying cycle and into the sales funnel. And, PR provides the added benefit of providing independent third-party endorsement.

Improved stakeholder insight:

The process of developing your communication strategy and PR outreach brings you closer to your customers.  Engaging with customers to understand their buying methodology and rationale to develop articles provides valuable, actionable insight into customer behaviour.

Compelling messaging:

Effective PR requires relevant messaging at each stage of the buying cycle.  The strength of the messaging is evaluated against the quality of the supporting evidence and relevance to your target audience.

Re-energised staff:

Targeted PR which is integrated with change programmes can mobilise workforces by giving them a sense of purpose, community, and boost in morale.

"We are clearly differentiated, more engaged and showing the best version of ourselves to the world"

Clarity of purpose:

In order to be effective, PR needs clearly defined SMART goals.  The process of developing and executing these goals results in clarity of vision, purpose, and communications.

Invigorated sales team:

B2B PR will help build the morale of sales teams.  Seeing your brand receiving recognition in the media through press coverage for new business wins etc., instils pride and purpose.

Crisis mitigation:

A strong brand promotes loyalty which can help a brand survive a challenging trading environment. Crisis planning conducted during ‘business as usual’, will help you to identify potential areas of weakness which you can redress before any crisis hits. 

pr benefits working at home
Thought Leadership:

Every business has something unique about it or it would never have been brought into existence.  Someone somewhere thought there was a gap in the market your company could fill. PR will help you harness your thought leadership with insight that informs, inspires, challenges, and engages your target audience.

Brand Awareness:

PR builds a compelling relationship between your brand and your target audience – before your audience even enters the buying cycle. The key principles of any good PR strategy are to make you visible, valued and understood; delivered as part of a comprehensive communication strategy to drive consistency and impact. The outcome of which will provide you with a densely populated top of funnel.

Increased Impact:

By integrating your PR across all your marketing communications, you leverage your investment and increase impact. Every message delivered becomes a building block, creating layer upon layer of customer engagement, making the whole worth much more than the sum of its parts, in one cohesive, compelling brand.

So, we can see that there are many powerful and persuasive reasons to do PR –  especially when you consider that whether you choose to act or not, your reputation still exists out there in the market. Your job is to decide if you want to manage and cultivate your reputation, or leave it to chance.

So, when you ask yourself: ‘why do I need PR’ or ‘Is PR important’ follow it up with the question: ‘Does my company reputation matter?’. Your answer will tell you all you need to know.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our guide Your 8-Step Communication Strategy

READ this awesome Tech PR case study: 2i Testing

read our guide How we guarantee your PR results

to receive regular insights on how to make your PR work harder.

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
10 reasons your brand needs PR
the ultimate guideto writing a press release front cover

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

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EC-PR Packages - B2B PR Pricing Guide - front cover

How much does PR cost?

Our transparent guide to B2B PR pricing for tech brands.

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How we guarantee your PR results

Turbo boost your PR today and expand your ability to reach business goals.

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