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How to use Issue Jacking

Issue jacking is the art of using something that’s of significance in the news of the day to, sensibly, further your company’s message. Handled correctly, issue jacking is powerful tool to help you get valuable publicity for your startup. But it’s important to be thoughtful and ready so you aren’t caught on the hop.

The key challenge with issues jacking is to be ready at any moment to issue ‘comment’ to journalists covering a breaking topic.

For example, when a story recently broke about job candidates faking information on the CVs, a new recruitment startup was able to garner national media attention by highlighting the importance of screening processes, such as the one they use in their business.

Or, a cloud security startup that was ready to comment when the next data security scandal occurred, with practical advice for business on how to mitigate these risks. They were armed with research to provide an insight into the common pitfalls and what to do about them.

So, how do you prepare for issue jacking?

  1. Be alert: Start by setting Google alerts for keywords such as key research that’s release or when a government decision or legal case is likely to flair up with media interest around.
  2. Preparation: Be prepared with what you want to say. Ideally, you’ll have pre-armed your PR team with this information so that they’re able to quickly reach out to reporters that have covered the issue before and are likely to be on the beat again.
  3. Availability: Be ready to comment at a moment’s notice. If a journalist wants to talk to you, drop everything their deadline is the priority.
  4. Follow up: You can also use a recent issue a reason to write a topical opinion piece. You don’t have to comment on the specific issue. You might provide advice on how to avoid the issue.

If you get this right, you can have a strategy in place that lets you act at short notice to take advantage of a situation. Remember, if you’re not ready, chances are your competitors are.

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