Proactive and reactive content: Timing is everything

Proactive and reactive content: Timing is everything

After a year of chaos, confusion and disruption (and many other adjectives I won’t list right now), it’s easy to think that planning is a somewhat redundant task these days. With a news cycle changing faster than ever, dominated by evolving issues regarding Covid-19 and Brexit, trying to forward plan when it comes to PR messaging is no easy task. 

But one element of the PR strategy that has and will always be critical is timing. From capitalising on a breaking news story to issuing a press release, timing is everything to ensure an effective and successful PR campaign. Key to achieving this are tools such as monitoring services and social media platforms but most importantly – a team that knows the client and its messaging inside out and has the media relationships to execute a winning campaign. 

So, with that in mind, we’ve put together three ways that timely and relevant content can perfect an engaging and highly successful PR strategy. 

Awareness Days

One way to keep up with the news and maintain some sense of a plan is to align content to awareness days. From Valentine’s Day to National Apprenticeship Week, there are literally hundreds to choose from. But it’s also likely that other brands and competitors are using the same method to attract the attention of journalists, so how can you stand out from the crowd? 

Preparation is key; liaising with journalists to understand what they are looking for from a story ahead of time, preparing written content and prepping spokespeople, as well as potential customer testimonials as irons in the fire, can go a long way to preparing your PR arsenal to achieve the most value. 

One thing to keep in mind is not to jump on the awareness days bandwagon just for the sake of it. Children’s Mental Health Week could draw more press attention than ever in 2021, but National Hug a Plumber day or National Wiggle Your Toes day might not be momentous occasions to draw attention to! It’s, therefore, crucial to align these days to the overall strategy and ensure any media messaging is relevant, with an interesting angle – or else the pitch will be sent straight to journalists’ ‘deleted’ folder. 

News Hijacking

While preparation is important, often the stories that generate the most interest are those that are reactive. For a sector such as cybersecurity, news around the latest high profile data breaches seem to be a regular occurrence, and often make national headlines. 

These breaking news stories can provide a valuable opportunity to get our clients’ views in front of the media and part of the conversation. But this is not necessarily about pointing blame, our role is to ensure the client provides meaningful insight. In the world of cybersecurity, for example, knowing our clients’ messaging we can comment around why the breach might have happened, advice on what other businesses need to implement to prevent such an incident, where the responsibility lies etc. 

Reacting quickly, with relevant and insightful comment is one of our core strategy components to get our clients heard above the background noise. 

Keep the conversation going

While reactive content can be a great coverage generator, there’s no need to stop the momentum after a few bites of coverage – timely content can be invaluable to inform other issues to comment on as part of the wider campaign, as well as the overall marketing strategy. 

The best PR content should have longevity – repurposed with new statistics, new government legislation or industry movement.

The right angle and content, combined with perfect timing and a good balance of proactive and reactive activity is the key to great coverage that puts the brand under the bright lights of the media spotlight. 

Want to hear more about our skills in creating timely, engaging and exciting content? Get in touch at or give us a call on +44 (0) 1296 733 867

Francesca Bull

Account Director.

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