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(Issues) Jump and Shout, and Make Your Comments Stand Out

Constantly keeping a finger on the pulse with the latest stories and trends, and finding ways to engage with media discussions are key components of any PR campaign. At Babel, we’ve previously written about how “issues jumping” – referring to the practice of providing insight on a news story shortly after it breaks – can drive fantastic coverage and be instrumental at building relationships between clients and journalists, and why speed is vital. But what makes an issues jump stand out from the crowd? With journalists receiving hundreds, or sometimes even thousands, of emails a day, it’s vital to know how to cut through the noise and produce a comment that will really resonate.

Be bold or contrarian

For starters, strong and opinionated statements help to make an article more engaging, with journalists often keen to include countering viewpoints. Succinct and clear language should be used, and in some instances comments can be presented in bullet point form, making it easy for reporters to quickly insert a quote into their article.

Where’s the value?

It’s also important to ensure that comments add something to the story, and offer an informed perspective on the issue at hand. Credentials, experience and proof points can all be referenced in issues jumps or pitches to demonstrate knowledge of the sector and back up any claims made. The comment should ideally be attributed to a senior spokesperson, adding further credence.

Know your media

Lastly, as with all elements of PR, media relations are key. Journalists may approach a business or PR agency they trust for comment prior to drafting an article, and are more likely to engage with those that they know will provide interesting and relevant content.  Time and time again journalists tell us that a personal relationship with someone encourages them to open an email or pick up the phone, making it vital that this age old PR principle doesn’t get forgotten in today’s digital age.

Issues jumping is a brilliant tactic for businesses to use to engage in topical debates and demonstrate thought leadership, and can benefit journalists and companies alike. However, as reporters become increasingly inundated with calls and emails, it is harder than ever before to grab attention.  Strong statements, informed insight and knowledge of the media landscape all make content stand out, ultimately generating coverage to jump and shout about.

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