Reactive PR is a great way to keep your brand current, increase visibility and engagement. If you look around, you’ll see reactive PR campaigns everywhere across online and offline platforms and brands are constantly competing to get the quickest and most eye-catching response out there to recent news and trends.
In this blog, we take a look at what reactive PR is, why it’s essential for your PR strategy and some of our favourite reactive campaigns of recent years.
What Is Reactive PR?
Reactive PR is a strategy used to gain backlinks and engagements by responding to the trending news cycle when your client aligns with the topic or can add expert insights to the conversation. The art of reactive PR, is timeliness, you need to know who your relevant contact is in order to respond quickly and with the right messaging to position yourself as an expert within the field.
Why Is Reactive PR Essential?
As with any strategy, there are different elements that can elevate and get the most out of your marketing activity. Reactive PR is essential in helping the following factors;
- Keep your brand relevant – reactive PR shows that your brand is aware of the current news and trends meaning it is a great way to stay relevant.
- Makes your brand relatable – by showing you are in touch with current trends that people are interested in and reacting to them, your brand instantly becomes more relatable.
- Increases engagement – as you are talking about current topics more people are likely to share your content creating a bigger audience for your brand.
- Puts your brand in front of new customers – reactive content can target a much wider audience than your regular content does due to its relevancy, relatable nature and increased engagements.
Our Tip Tops For Keeping On Top Of Reactive PR Opportunities
Keeping on top of the current news and social trends can be a challenge, however, there are some things you can do to avoid spending your whole day scrolling through Google News.
The holy grail for PR’s… Twitter is the place to be if you want to know exactly what journalists are looking for. Searching the #Journorequest periodically through the day and checking for any requests that you could give expert comments on is a great way to build relationships with journalists and get some top-tier coverage.
The “what’s happening” bar is also a great place to look if you’re wanting to discover any trending topics across Twitter that could be used within press releases.
TikTok is becoming the space to be for all brands, as more and more people are jumping over the social platform for UGC and advertising. With its ever-increasing popularity, comes interesting trend data. Using TikTok’s trend discovery to find the most popular hashtags from the last 7, 30 or 120 days and by searching through relevant industries, there may be a current trending topic that you could add something new and authoritative to the conversation.
To read more about why PR pros should care about TikTok, take a look at our blog.
Google News is a great way to stay on top of the news cycle, and while it’s great to get an overall view of the news, usually at the start of your working day, you don’t want to spend your whole days sifting through stories that aren’t relevant. But there are ways you periodically stay on top of trending news stories;
- Google Trends can show you the daily search trends and real-time search trends alongside related articles
- Google Alerts are a great way of getting news stories to send directly to your inbox if you are part of a particular niche or have specific topics you want to talk about
How Can You Be Proactive In Order To Be Reactive?
Proactive PR is having the ability to see into the future, after all, aren’t all PR’s psychics? Well not exactly, instead we play to the cyclical nature of the news cycle.
We know that the same news stories happen every year so planning these into strategies and creating a calendar to add the possible dates you could add comments to or create a story around is a great way to be proactive;
- Holidays – Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter… the list goes on
- Awareness days – International Women’s Day, World Sleep Day (there’s an awareness day for almost anything you can imagine)
- Seasons – First Day of Spring, Clocks Changing, Official Start of Summer
- Sports Events – SuperBowl, World Cup
- Other – Fashion weeks, award shows, tv show release dates
Which Brands Are Smashing Reactive PR?
Everywhere you look there’s a brand hopping on a trend or a news story, but below are some of our PR teams’ favourite reactive campaigns.
Budget supermarket, Aldi, is known for their tongue-in-cheek tone of voice across their social platforms and back in April 2021 the UK was gripped by real-life legal drama as Marks & Spencers filed legal action against Aldi. They alleged that Aldi’s caterpillar cake, Cuthbert, was infringing upon the copyright of its own caterpillar cake, Colin.
Aldi wanted to win over the public and launched a #freecuthbert campaign which appeared all over their socials. Thanks to the support received, a limited-edition Cuthbert the Caterpillar was released with all profits going to the Teenage Cancer Trust. #CaterpullarsForCancer raised thousands of pounds for charity during its course.
On Liz Truss’ resignation after just 44 days in office, the budget airline, Ryanair offered her a boarding pass to “anywhere”. Giving her seat 10D, the flight from London Gatwick to anywhere and was tweeted by the brand with a waving goodbye hand emoji.
The tweet itself got 13K retweets, 3,305 quotes tweets and 149.5K likes and was picked up by various different publications including Yahoo and The Northern Echo.
Chain restaurant, Nando’s, commemorated the UK’s hottest day of 2022 on the 19th of July with a tweak to their famous Peri-ometer graphic. The ad shows Nando’s replace its extra-hot level with 19th July. This was rolled out across printed press and social media gaining attention from people all over the country.