Always-On Link-Building, also known as newsjacking, is a PR strategy that occurs in two main scenarios. One is when a journalist has a content request, and the PR provides them with information that answers that request. In other situations, the PR might be able to offer comments based on recent or upcoming news or events that might be of interest to journalists, even if they haven’t requested the information.
In both cases, this type of activity requires quick responses and turnarounds, and for you to have a strong connection with the news that you are trying to link your business to. This technique has been commonly used in traditional PR, but with the fast-changing news cycle experienced last year due to the pandemic, it’s been quickly adopted by digital PRs too. Always-On Link-Building is a great technique to use to impact SERPs results in between campaigns and to maximise PR efforts.
The benefits of the technique include:
- Increased brand awareness across different types of media demographics
- Higher reach, which translates into an amplification of your brand’s audience
- When done in an online setting, organic traffic being driven to your website results in a bigger and strengthened backlink profile
There are a couple of considerations you need to bear in mind when using this technique:
Time – In Always-On Link-Building, timing is everything. If an event is happening, like The Oscars or the BAFTAs, the comment or content that the PR wants to pitch to the journalist needs to be sent within 20 minutes of the news breaking. So, you need to be able to commit to fast turnarounds.
However, you also need to consider that if an event is happening in the evening, it’s likely that, with the exception of the journalist covering the event, the rest of the publication’s staff will be at home. Journalists have personal lives, too! So, while having a quick response is useful, never forget that you are speaking to human beings.
Relevancy – It’s important to remember that not every request is suitable for every business to jump on. Before you commit to a request, some questions to ask are: can we provide substantial knowledge or relevant comments on this topic? Is this the type of publication that it is appropriate for my business? Will this really benefit us from an SEO point of view? If the answer to some of those questions is no, you might need to go back and look for other opportunities.
Newsjacking, or Always-On Link-Building, is becoming a technique that’s used more and more often by digital PRs, particularly because they’ve had to adapt to the constantly evolving news cycle. This technique requires a great knowledge of the media sector and relevant events, and the ability to provide content quickly. In return, your brand awareness will increase, your reach will be maximised, you will be identified as an authority within the industry, and it will generate organic traffic to your website.