Imagine this: a news story breaks, and it’s buzzing across headlines, social media, and conversations.
Now, picture your organization’s message woven seamlessly throughout, reaching a wider audience.
That’s not just a stroke of luck—it’s the power of strategic news integration in action.
We’re always on the lookout for these opportunities for our partners. We bring together our expertise in tapping into current events, insights into the news landscape, and strong relationships with the right reporters to make this happen. To connect what our partners have to say with what people are already talking about.
Read on for our tried-and-true approach to news-driven outreach.
If you’ve tried to seize opportunities in the news cycle before, then you might’ve heard this tactic described as “newsjacking.”
We prefer to think of it as news integration. Our strategy isn’t about commandeering headlines—it’s about contributing valuable insights that matter.
If there’s news going on that one of our partners is an authority on, then we can offer them up as an expert for comment. By positioning their organization as an expert to the media and valued resource to reporters, we’re able to increase the opportunities to get what they have to say out there. (And what they have to say needs to enrich the conversation—more on that later.)
Especially in our work with nonprofits (but not exclusively), the relevant news stories may be about communities facing hardships. We want to make sure that we’re not capitalizing on negative events. Instead, we’re helping to make connections for our audience, whether that’s by shedding light on a situation, advocating for a solution, or providing crucial context.
Timing is Everything for News Integration
The goal of news integration is to provide timely information that’s relevant, helpful, or interesting.
Timely. That’s key.
At the heart of our strategy lies a proactive approach. We don’t wait for the universe to align and for a reporter to reach out. We actively seek opportunities.
When proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threatened to reduce benefits for the most vulnerable Americans, we presented the opportunity for news integration to our partner Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). We knew they’d have valuable context to share about the potential consequences of the cuts, and we collaborated closely to make sure we were able to create connections between reporters and NVFS.
“It’s the perfect example of our process,” says Julie Rosenthal, our chief solutions master. “We saw the news and we said that we should put our partner out in front on this issue and offer them for comment. We make sure we know what their position is and that it makes sense, and we craft the statement and get it out. That’s what works.”
The results: WJLA/ABC7, WUSA9, and the Fairfax Times all called on NVFS’s President and CEO Stephanie Berkowitz for insights into the cuts. The timely media coverage allowed NVFS to shed light on the issue of food insecurity and strengthen its position as a key organization dedicated to supporting Northern Virginia families in need.
And here’s something else to know about timing. It’s not just about spotting the relevant story. It’s about understanding what else is going on in the news at the same time.
If there’s major news overpowering the news cycle, our partner’s story can get drowned out or come across as insensitive. We’re mindful of the ebb and flow of the news cycle. We choose our moments wisely to avoid getting lost in the noise—and so that what our partner has to say can be a beacon of insight.
Have a Story Worth Telling
Let’s circle back on what we said earlier about making sure what you have to say enriches the conversation.
To stand out, you need to be distinct from the chatter, sparking curiosity and engagement. You need a story that’s worth telling, rather than trying to push something out for the sake of it. We work with our partners on this, thinking about how the news affects their organization, mission, or audience, how it’s different from what’s already being said, and that it’s strong enough to package it for the reporters we pitch to.
Here’s what our communications strategist Norma Kelly shares about successful pitching. “You have to strategically advise your partner on a pitch so that it makes sense. You have to help them craft it so that you feel comfortable as the person who has that media relationship because it’s your reputation, and that’s a reporter you may want to pitch again in the future.”
Being strategic lets us invest our efforts where we’re most likely to find success. When there’s value in what we’re pitching to reporters, we’re able to build lasting relationships and protect our partners’ reputations—and our own.
Making an Impact with News Integration
With news integration, success can have a ripple effect that travels far and wide. That’s why in our approach, we’re thoughtful, proactive, and strategic. We weave our partners’ messages throughout relevant news so that they can contribute meaningful insights that enrich conversations. To shed light. To reframe. To advocate.
Connecting what you have to say with what people are already talking about—it’s a powerful way to make an impact.