Reactive PR

Reactive public relations is a strategic approach used by a business to manage and react to an unforeseen event or situation.  In digital PR a reactive strategy can be used to put your brand at the center of a conversation. 

Reactive digital PR is seen as an always-on and always-listening digital PR service that is constantly monitoring journalists, the media and the news cycle for an opportunity to join the conversation.  

what is reactive pr

Benefits of reactive PR

There are many benefits of using a reactive PR strategy including:

  • A quick way of earning coverage.
  • A cheaper method of earning coverage.
  • Opens new opportunities for your brand.

Earn coverage quick

Unlike hero campaigns or proactive campaigns that sometimes take months to put together, a reactive campaign can be something as simple as seeing a story and emailing a quote to a journalist who covered that story.  Reactive PR doesn’t require as much research as a proactive campaign and as a result it is often cheaper.


Reactive PR campaigns don’t require extensive research, data collection or stunning visuals, sometimes all it takes is an email and a quote and you can get coverage in your favourite media outlets. Proactive campaigns can require a lot of ideation too and sometimes it’s very difficult to come up with an idea that works.  Reactive PR means that you are constantly looking for media opportunities which can bring more opportunities your way.

More opportunities for links and coverage

Constantly looking for opportunities to insert yourself into the news will help with your marketing in the long term as you will see what types of media coverage others are getting through reactive comments too. But how do you spot an opportunity for reactive PR?

Reactive PR examples

reactive pr examples

A business may use a reactive strategy as it can be a quick way of earning links and media coverage without the big budgets needed to carry out a proactive or planned campaign.

A reactive PR strategy can build your company’s brand awareness quickly and PR Pros can put your business at the centre of a news story with the right expert comment.

Reacting to the news cycle gives journalists something that is current and helps them to build out a story.  For example, when there was a petrol shortage in the UK a digital PR agency looked at Google trends and noticed that there was a spike in searches for people looking for electric cars.  The digital PR agency then put this data into a press release and was able to land hundreds of high-quality links and brand mentions for their car client.

ev car reactive pr campaign

Reactive marketing is a great way of creating a pr campaign with little budget and if you can provide a well-timed comment it can position you as a thought leader in your industry, all you need to do is keep a look out for trends. A Reactive PR campaign isn’t for everyone though and for some businesses, it may not work.

Will reactive PR work for my business?

As the name suggests, reactive PR is a pr tactic that has to be completed quickly.  If your brand cant provide responses to the digital PR Agency quickly then reactive PR won’t be effective.

It may also not make sense to run reactive PR campaigns if you need to sign off on every idea.  By the time you have signed off on an idea the story has gone and your target audience has moved on.

Some reactive PR agencies also tend to react to everything.  When it comes to digital PR you always want to be relevant to the story you are providing otherwise you won’t get many of the digital PR benefits.  Whilst it’s important to earn links and coverage, getting the wrong links won’t help your business grow.  If you do find that reactive PR isn’t working for you then proactive or planned PR could be the better option.

Proactive PR

A planned approach to digital PR is called proactive PR and unlike reactive, you can plan certain PR campaigns throughout the year.  For example, for one of our home improvement clients we know that every year from October to March we can pitch content around mould, keeping your home warm and protecting your home from bad weather.

A proactive strategy mixed with a reactive strategy is a great way of increasing the number of media placements that you can get for your business.

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