How to perfect the delicate art of News Hijacking

How to perfect the delicate art of News Hijacking

The collective first thought when the news breaks of a data breach or infrastructure hack is – who now? Followed very quickly by, how bad was it; what type of breach; and is this something we need to jump on immediately?

Of course, there is a momentary pause for the company in question, again rapidly superceded by ‘why did they allow this to happen’? After all, cybersecurity is something we are all affected by and therefore all passionate about here at Neo PR.

The big PR question though, comes in two parts:
  • How can we help this incident bring our clients’ agenda to the fore?
  • How can we do so in a constructive manner that will ultimately benefit the wider industry?

Fortunately, to address the latter point first, for the majority of our clients (be those operating in the cybersecurity space, or any other sector) we intrinsically know what their key messages are. We will have commentary on file, which means that we can rapidly construct a response that needs a quick seal of approval only.

Moreover, we firmly believe in constructive PR; negativity may make headlines but rarely supports the wider affirmative agenda. This means frequently that it’s not so much a case of commenting on the particular breach, but aspects around it. More on that in a moment…

With regard to the first point, though, this is where time is indeed of the essence. News hijacking, as well like to call it, means just that: it’s being amongst the first to react and get our clients’ views in front of the relevant media. Which means that there is no such thing as ‘off time’.

Keep your ear to the ground…

Take the latest Equifax breach as an example. When the news first broke of the data breach, it was much like any other; we were able to react and provide our client’s view on the incident in a timely fashion, along with the rest of the cybersecurity world.

However, the fallout was where we were really able to add value. By putting comment out on Saturday morning when the news hit that Equifax’s CIO & CISO had resigned (while squeezing in a morning run between draft, sign off & issuing) we were – on our client’s behalf – able to provide an additional level of insight on where responsibility for such breaches really should lie. The comment was widely included in media reports analysing the news on Monday morning, in some top tier targets for our client!

By reacting quickly, and thinking beyond the breach itself, is where we were able to add real PR value. And that is something we get a real buzz from.

Want to find out more about how we can integrate news hijacking into your PR campaign? Get in touch!

Josephine Timmins


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