Five ways to map out your PR content during an unpredictable news cycle

It can be tricky to constantly come up with fresh and exciting content, and even trickier when the news cycle is unpredictable.

Phoebe Netto, the founder of Pure Public Relations, shares with us five ways to plan your content so that an unpredictable news cycle is not a problem.


Hi, my name is Phoebe Netto. And I’m going to give you five ways to map out your PR content. During an unpredictable news cycle, a global pandemic, elections, and general chaos in the world has resulted in the news cycle feeling more and more unpredictable. This poses a real challenge for businesses looking to align their PR moves with the news cycle, especially for those already feeling overwhelmed by their existing marketing and social media duties. So here are five ways to map out your PR content when you’re faced with an unpredictable news cycle to ensure that you’re not wasting your hard-earned time and energy on content that doesn’t land.

The first is to be flexible. Timing is everything in PR. While your business may have a date locked in for announcing a key bit of news, it’s important to be flexible and ready to change course should a major story break, and then schedule in what you can. Some days such as International Women’s Day and R U OK day, are set in stone won’t change regardless of external events, so schedule these in early.

In order to stand out on these busy days, make sure you’re the most responsive person that a journalist could speak to. Offer excellent imagery as well as photo ops have a strong spokesperson available and a case study on hand. And you need to learn to newsjack.

Newsjacking is a great way to make sure your business is consistently on the media’s radar. Newsjacking leverages the news cycle to gain your business awareness or vital attention, and it can be an effective way to get media coverage in between announcements. Newsjacking is a great way to get into bigger media outlets than you would normally qualify for because your appeal increases when you can leverage a story that is already big and topical.

You should constantly plan out evergreen content. Evergreen content stays relevant regardless of external factors and it doesn’t age like other stories tied to particular events, dates or topics. It can be worth planning out this kind of content in advance to fill in the gaps between major announcements and campaigns. 

To help flesh out your content calendar for the year, you should absolutely know your media’s downtimes. So there are certain times of the year when journalists are more open to evergreen content and bylined articles. Stay aware of these downtimes and factor them into your planning to help you get additional content across the line. For example, journalists and editors typically want to have a break over the December-January period. You can use this to your advantage for a great win-win-win. They get content that can run while they are on holidays or struggling for stories, we get media coverage for our clients, and the client has their story run when lots of people have more free time to sit down and read the content.

Ultimately, great PR isn’t about beating the news cycle unless you have truly explosive news, but joining it if you can find ways to authentically link your business or brand to a hot new story or evergreen issue. You’ll be well on your way to achieving the media coverage you’ve always wanted.

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