Widening the scope: Supporting a shifting client strategy through news hijacking
If you ask any member of the Spark team what their typical working week looks like, you’re likely to hear the words ‘news hijacking’ in their response. We love this tactic at Spark: in short, after spotting a breaking story, we work with clients on an insightful quote, share with journalists and, hopefully, go on to make some headlines.
As news hijacking is just one of a range of tools in our arsenal, efforts are often focussed on hijacking one specific topic or industry vertical. That said, of course, we always work to tailor our approach to client needs, so when customer experience expert Quadient made key changes to the way it operates its business, our news hijacking tactics needed to change in line. At a top level, Quadient’s new strategy was to double down its focus on key business sectors – including banking and insurance, where target customers operate. As it was already an established name in its own Print Service Provider industry, Quadient also wanted to pivot across to customer experience-related stories.
That gave us a lot of new targets to hit, so how did we set about supporting this shifting business focus? There were three key steps we took to tailor the news hijacking part of the programme in line:
1) Speaking with spokespeople/experts from each vertical industry the client will be targeting. This will give a true feel for the key issues customers are facing in this industry, and provide insight on how the client could help resolve them.
2) Lining up insight in advance. Put simply, you need to load your cannon ready for the assault ahead. The standard way to do this is to build a bank of approved comment over time; for a more aggressive approach, however, you can even work with the client to generate statistics by commissioning research related to the industry.
3) Tracking the news in each set vertical industry. Sources such as regulatory bodies, industry analysts/experts and market leaders encountering problems can be like gold dust for news hijacking. Once fine-tuned with client input, you will be in a good position to start reaching out and making headlines.
After revising our approach, we achieved some great results with Quadient across different verticals. They say the proof is in the pudding, so here are some real-life stories that we helped Quadient contribute to:
Overall, the key to successfully widening the scope with news hijacks is doing your homework. You must get to know the relevant publications and sources of news, and most importantly, work with your client to identify and message against the key issues and problems in each sector.
Having put in the work to lay firm foundations, you can move forward confident of success, and play a role in supporting wider business success, however it may evolve in the future.