How to tap into cultural trends to gain media exposure

February 24, 2021

In PR terms it is simply news-jacking. News-jacking is when a brand mentions or creates a campaign centred around a major, well-discussed news item. It's slightly different from a publicity stunt in that the news item is leveraged in marketing, while a stunt might generate news within a public venue or place of business.


We do this by remaining on the pulse and keeping an ear out for the latest movies, tv shows, podcasts, books – basically keeping an eye on the latest cultural gossip! This sounds simple but as a team we do the following to make sure we are on the pulse, creating reactive news and making sure we’re the first to offer the information to the journalist which can require a very speedy turnaround.  


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Social listening 


The Siren team are on social media every day, following the trend-setters, the noise-starters and the influential people who are the catalysts of cultural trends. We segment lists on Twitter into different streams of interest that are relevant to our clients, such as food for Yondu and sustainability for Ecocoast. 


Constantly reading the titles we want to be in  


Media outlets within each sector are still one of the best ways to stay in the know about specific issues in your industry. We block out a regular time in our calendar to go through these publications and pull and share insights we come across. Whether the title is industry specific or just for fun, often, we’ll find something that’s either relevant to a client and sent as an FYI or that might spark an idea or insight.  


Constant contact with the media 


In a time before Covid, we used to take media out for coffee or lunches, to get the scoop on what they were working on and to pitch in clients that we thought would be relevant for that cultural trend and story. However, these days we’ve established new methods to fit within the new environment of social distancing and working from home. We join a tonne of webinars, that have either individual or panel discussions with relevant media editors. The media talks through what is on their agenda, what issues they are working on, trends they are looking at, and basically give us a live connection to what their readers want. We share these insights across the team, pulling relevant information for the journalists. We also ‘meet’ with media on Zoom calls for a more personal discussion about what it is they’re working on, any ideas they have for the future and how these can best fit with the stories of our clients. 


Make the most from your team  


Lastly, having a diverse team with multiple interests and passion points will help to bring trends that you might have missed to the front of mind. Our daily team catch ups often involve talking about the latest Netflix show we’re indulging in, any books we’re currently enjoying and also any creative social media campaigns that have really gained traction. 




An example of newsjacking can be seen with one of our travel clients, Rabbie’s, who host escorted tours across the UK and Ireland. The Rabbie’s team offers private tours, which means that people can call in with a passion point or focus that they want a tour created around and the Rabbie’s team will create a completely personal itinerary for them 


Building on the success of 2020’s James Bond tour which saw eight media articles with a reach of more than 85,000 achieved, our team is always on the look out for popular filming locations outside of the usual Harry Potter fanatics. Our evening team calls had us unable to speak about anything else aside from Netflix’s most popular series ever, Bridgerton 


During a webinar with Hello Magazine, the journalist alluded to “anything Bridgerton and our readers go nuts!”. The Siren team, with a very quick turn around approval from the client, researched filming locations that could be visited on a Bridgerton themed tour. We then went out to all Bridgerton appropriate titles and the outcome was a news frenzy for Rabbie’s 


During a three week period we achieved stand out coverage in BBC Travel, Page 3 of The Times, Daily Telegraph, Time Out London and even Tatler Asia – resulting in a record month of media exposure for our client, Rabbie’s. 


If you're looking to leverage news, trends, or current events to amp up your marketing strategy, PR newsjacking, when it fits strategically and with good timing, is a great way to pull-off quick moments of news coverage.  


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