How to Get PR By Tapping into the News Cycle

How to Get PR By Tapping into the News Cycle

news cycle

By Michael Locklear

Having a good grasp of what’s going on in the world and in your community is a key starting point for getting publicity for you and your brand.

You’ve probably seen organizations doing this, without even realizing it. Take a look at a couple of examples. 


Many nonprofits in the nature conservation space wished Sir David Attenborough a happy 96th birthday. It was a simple gesture, but they’re also trying to tap into the star power of the English broadcaster who’s narrated countless nature documentaries for decades.

The nonprofits’ posts were an opportunity to expand their audience by using a trending hashtag on Twitter and perhaps even to subtly encourage their followers to donate to the cause of preservation. The thought process may be something like: “We like David Attenborough. You do, too. We’re trying to accomplish the same goals here. Donate to the cause or at least follow us so that you can do your part!”

Remember that bizarre event in 2019 when people “stormed” Area 51 in Nevada to see if the government was hiding aliens? OREO took advantage of that popular headline by asking what flavors may be hiding in Area 51. It was an easy, affordable way to join the conversation with an engaging post that used a trending hashtag. Plus, it’s a boost to brand awareness that only took a few minutes.

But it’s not only global brands and large organizations that can gain traction by paying attention to the news cycle. It’d be a book marketing mistake not to include “newsjacking” in your publicity plan.

Newsjacking is a marketing term that’s become more popular in the last few years. Oxford defines it as “the practice of taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote or advertise one’s product or brand.”

So how can entrepreneurs and authors incorporate “newsjacking” as a strategy?

The Guide My Brand team often brainstorms ideas with our clients to help them become experts in their field.

When there was a resurgence of COVID-19, one of our most popular angles for wellness entrepreneur Reena Vokoun and her Passion Fit brand was about hybrid workouts. How can people stay fit while balancing concern for the virus? Reena had all the knowledge she needed to talk about this. We just had to identify it as a timely, relevant topic.

People wanted to know how to stay in shape as pandemic rules changed. We developed some talking points that aligned with Reena’s content and mission in addition to meeting the needs of the general public – and the journalists serving them.

Several outlets, including a few TV stations like the NBC station in Los Angeles, responded to our pitches with requests to book Reena. It all started with a recognition of what people are talking about and what information people are interested to learn.

ALSO READ: 4 Things Every Good PR Pitch Needs

How does your expertise lead to media coverage?

Think through these questions to develop some ideas about how to leverage your expertise to get featured by magazines, online outlets, TV stations and podcasts:

  • What are some of the hashtags trending on Twitter right now?
  • If you go to the websites of your target outlets, what are they posting the most about right now? Are you noticing multiple stories on one subject? If you’re trying to cast a wider net, what commonalities do you see?
  • What angles and stories are missing from the trending topics? Can you add depth to a storyline that’s already getting a lot of attention?

Guide My Brand helps our clients with this process all the time. We’re always looking for new ways to get authors and entrepreneurs more coverage for them and their brand. We find avenues for them to become part of the conversation. 


It can be overwhelming to handle your own PR as you juggle polishing your book or growing your business, so if we can help take something off your plate, book your free discovery call now.

Vicky Lynch
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