Jun 2023

The What When and How of trendjacking

Written by Phoebe Campbell-Rees

The What When and How of trendjacking

Bringing a client into a national conversation is no small feat, but with the right what, when, how, the possibilities are endless.

Trendjacking is a simple but nuanced form of proactive outreach that offers expert thought leadership on a trending topic. Getting this right can be challenging.

First identifying what to trendjack

This must be a brand new or trending story that a client can reasonably offer a new angle or expert analysis on. This means being up-to-date on messaging, what topics or verticals are important to clients and having close communication with your spokespeople. You don’t want to over-promise the press, and more importantly, never put your client somewhere they’re not comfortable with.

The next step is when to trendjack.

Assume with trendjacks that you are always already too late. Speed is key, as busy, prolific journalists have tonnes of emails and phone calls heading their way, you need to be one of the first to redirect the story and get your client’s insight across. This means speedy reactions from clients to make it clear their interest in the story and standpoint.

So now you have your story, you have your angle and comment, now what?! Given the buzz around a breaking news story, it is crucial to adopt a no-fluff approach. Be upfront with journalists about what you’re offering them, they have little time and so you must be succinct in explaining why your client’s perspective will support the developing story. But be precise, you must KNOW this story, and be able to preempt how it may develop and what journalists need/ what they’re likely to ask.

Essentially, view every new story as an incomplete puzzle that your client is going to help them solve. So as a PR you must anticipate and persuade both spokesperson and journalist that their analysis is fundamental to understanding this story. Now you understand the what, when and how of trendjacking, consider if a story dropped tomorrow, are you prepared to successfully jump straight on this and truly leverage thought leadership to make the news?!

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