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Why Reactive PR could become your best business friend…

If you haven’t considered doing your own reactive PR before you may be missing out on a pretty simple trick.

One that could boost your brand and create lasting relationships with journalists who keep coming back for more…

Picture (c) The Branding Photographer, Maryanne Scott

Now, in my mind there are two ways to do reactive PR effectively:

  1. Responding to journalist requests

  2. Newsjacking 

1. The first is responding to requests that journalists are putting out there - which is a really great way of starting out doing your own PR, especially if you're a little nervous.

And where’s the best place to start with this? Well, in my opinion, it’s Twitter. 

Many journalists are using the hashtag #journorequest when they’re looking for requests for information and products.

You see, journalists are always on the lookout for people to provide them with information so they can write interesting and informative pieces. But with demanding, daily deadlines piling up on their desks, they simply don’t have the time to be constantly searching for information – so they want and (most importantly) need you to go to them with it.

I encourage you to have a look through #journorequest on Twitter every day for a week to see if there are any relevant requests suitable for you and your business. And if there are, get in touch with the journalist either via Twitter or using the email address often provided in the request.

My biggest tip, if you’re going to try this, is to make sure that what you’re responding to is relevant to your business – don’t waste their time (or yours) by sending anything wishy-washy or irrelevant. 

It’s also important to make sure that what they’re asking for is really aligned with your brand. For example, if they’re asking for a product, make sure that yours really fits with their newspaper, magazine or media outlet before submitting it. Otherwise you’ll just get deleted, and no one wants that!

If you’re responding with an opinion piece, make sure it’s an interesting comment or point that you’re making. If you’re too vague or bland, you’re not going to stand out or even make the cut.

Tough love, but I know you can shine and I want to give you the tools and tactics you need to do so. 

2. Of course, the other great way to do reactive PR is newsjacking.

This is when you look at the wider news agenda, such as current affairs, and if you have an opinion on a story or something to add, you can contact the journalist directly. It really is as simple as dropping them a quick email to say:

‘Really interesting article on ABC, I think XYZ about it’ or ‘Hey, I have this product that would complement this story on ABC if you’re looking to write up a follow-up piece.’ 

Newsjacking is a great way of using what is already out there to your advantage. Taking what journalists are writing about and making the most of it, and using existing stories or features, often gives you a good indication of what they’re on the look-out for, which you can use in the long-term too. 

Even if you only respond to one or two requests or stories a month or a quarter (and I’ll be honest, some months you’ll have more opportunities than others, especially if you run a seasonal business!) reactive PR is:

  • A great way of increasing your brand awareness by getting your name out there

  • A fab tool to get the recognition you deserve by becoming a credible authority in your industry

  • A way to build trust with your audience by being endorsed by impartial media outlets

  • A brilliant tool to build relationships with key journalists, which will benefit you enormously in the long run

…Which, after all, is what PR is all about.

And you’ll already know that the journalist is interested in that subject area so it’s not a cold pitch – which I know can be a little daunting if you’re new to it, trust me, we've all been there!

Reactive PR is amazing.

It’s such a great way to ease into doing your own PR and I actively encourage you to start giving it a go, especially now with a lot of media outlets working on skeleton staff and actively looking for stories, products and support from relevant business and business owners.

Share your stories and you can go from the fields to the front pages! No one can tell them better than you, and if you don't try, you don't know. Remember, the worst thing anyone can say is no, and that's absolutely ok, you just look for the next opportunity, and somewhere down the line, you'll get a YES! And that will be such a fantastic achievement.

I'll warn you though, once you start getting a yes from the press it becomes addictive and you'll be tracking down the scent of an opportunity like a bloodhound!

Good luck and let me know how you get on.


If you’d like some help getting started drop me a message or book a complimentary call and we’ll run through how to get going or how to craft a response:


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