Nov 27th 2019

News hijacking: our approach to executing this key PR tactic

Issues jumping, or ‘news hijacking’ as it’s sometimes referred to, is an age-old PR tactic that helps clients’ stories and messages cut through the noise by providing immediate insights on breaking news. When well executed, it can be a key driver of fantastic news coverage, kick starting proactive working relationships between clients and journalists – bearing fruit in sector-targeted news coverage, with positive outcomes all round.

Living in the digital world that we do, PRs, journalists and clients are faced with the challenges of a democratised media landscape, requiring them to be ever-more savvy. This is why pre-prepared insights stemming from a watertight corporate narrative present the perfect opportunity to secure expert commentary on a developing story.

Every day, Babel nurtures and protects the reputations of some the leading companies in digital and tech: which is why our three-point plan for issues jumping works so well when integrated with other proven PR tools.

  1. Keeping a step ahead of the issues – always

Steeped in real-world experience, the Babel team is drilled in preparedness planning and the creation of pre-approved statements and commentary that help us to literally ‘jump out of the blocks’ on the back of an emerging story.

  1. Getting under the skin – always

We conduct a deep dive on all the content and narrative drivers, influencers, stakeholders. We then craft pre-approved ‘rapid responses’ from CEOs and key spokespeople that will pique a journalist’s interest before they’ve had their cornflakes.

  1. Rapid responses that deliver results – always

We take an agile and integrated approach that gets to the bottom of clients’ approval processes, before any story has broken. Expedience is key to getting those comments out quickly and picked up by the media.

What makes a good ‘issues jump’?

  • Fortune favours the brave they say, and such is the case when you hijack the news. Journalists don’t want to print content that is vanilla in its essence – they want lively and confident language that can offer an alternative viewpoint or stimulate debate.
  • Make sure that commentary can be substantiated and shows sector knowledge is deep, with comments coming from a trained spokesperson with the gravitas to back up any claims made.
  • Media relations is based on knowledge and trust; something we’re good at here at Babel as we frequently get called for commentary – which is down to some of the great relationships we have.

We’re always on the lookout for stories that we can respond to quickly, and make sure our clients are included as thought leaders in articles that break from a trending story. Our daily monitoring of client sectors and the wider news agenda is an essential part of this. In doing so, we aim to get our clients into publications they might not normally expect, positioning them as experts in their field.

Drop us a line here if you’d like to find out more about issues jumping as a proactive tool in your public relations toolkit. We’d love to discuss Babel’s services with you, so you too can get ahead of the game and stand out in the crowd in a world full of noise. Now that’s something you can jump up and down about.


Declan Bradshaw
Declan Bradshaw CAMPAIGN MANAGER