How to Plan Reactive PR Strategies

Mastering reactive PR gives your brand a chance to earn high quality media coverage without investing too much into an idea. In this article, we will look at some of the ways you can plan for the unplanned.

media monitoring

But lets start with the why?

Why should you plan for something that you wouldn’t expect to plan for? Well, the news changes quickly and a well executed reactive PR campaign as the name suggests has to be quick. Acting too slowly will mean you miss your chance to get your brand into the story. While this isn’t the end of the world, if you can have anything in place to give you a competitive edge you should.

Unlike proactive PR, which requires long-term planning, reactive PR can and should be quick. To help with securing media coverage, your business should have designated team members or a Digital PR agency like ourselves acting on your behalf ready to act swiftly.

When you sign up as a client, we will begin monitoring events in your industry and by monitoring the news cycle and identifying relevant opportunities, we can craft responses to stories that resonate with both your audience and the media.

To give yourself a chance of being one of the first to pitch a reactive story you could prepare a media list in advance of journalists that may talk about subjects in your niche. However, this isn’t always possible and you may need to work as part of a team to get your message out there quickly.

How to plan for a reactive campaign

While you can’t really plan for a reactive campaign there are steps you can take to make your responses a little quicker.

What is Reactive PR

Reactive PR or newsjacking is when a business like yours responds to events or trends as they arise in the media. This helps to manage brand perception and can allow you to earn backlinks that you may not have been able to build otherwise. Unlike proactive PR, which is planned and strategic, reactive PR demands quick, thoughtful, and effective responses to unforeseen situations. We have used reactive campaigns in the past to earn 100’s of links on websites such as CNN with 1 quote from a client. An amazing return on investment for them.

Research in Reactive PR

Research can help you with your reactive PR strategy. Research allows you to monitor current events and trending topics to identify opportunities that you can newsjack along with any potential threats. Utilising tools like social media analytics and news monitoring services can help you to find opportunities that you may not have found otherwise.

Other than tools, you can also check the news everyday as you wake up. Something may start to happen which you can comment or jump on.

Important Activities when it comes to reactive PR

Ongoing research enables timely and informed responses, improving the effectiveness of your reactive PR efforts and it also presents more opportunities that you can use to build media coverage.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is crucial for any PR strategy, more so for reactive PR. Identifying the demographics, interests, and behaviours of your audience helps tailor responses that the media along with potential clients would be interested in.

Executing and Managing a Reactive PR Campaign

Executing an effective reactive PR campaign comes down to efficient planning, swift responses, and contacting the right journalists.

Writing Effective Press Releases

Press releases are very important when it comes to your reactive PR strategy. An effective press release should be short, without fluff, and newsworthy to get the journalists attention. Your press release should also highlight the relevance of your product or service to the breaking news or trending topic.

One of the major mistakes brands make when newsjacking is to try to newsjack everything and as a result it doesn’t work for them. If you own a marketing company and you are commenting on the latest electricity bill prices, then you aren’t going to be relevant or an expert in that space. Securing coverage and links is going to be next to impossible, so only comment on relevant topics.

Measure the impact of your reactive campaigns

Without measuring the impact of your campaigns you won’t know how effective they are or if you should keep doing it. Metrics such as media coverage, social media engagement, and SEO ranking increases should be monitored to make sure your reactive campaigns are effective.

Tools like Google Analytics can track website traffic and social media insights can provide data on public engagement. Past campaigns can offer insights into what worked well and what could be improved, by looking at this you can then refine your reactive strategy.

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