Category Archives: Press Release

Newsjacking: The Secret PR Ingredient to Build SaaS Brand Awareness in 2023

25,000 companies and 14 billion customers – that’s the state of SaaS today. It’s a crowded market, growing further with a promising outlook. SaaS revenue will touch US$330 billion by 2027.

It’s a whole different ball game to build your authority and amplify your voice in this business environment. Since your product has no physical presence, it’s challenging to have audiences visualize your offerings with trust.

That’s where digital PR helps. Done right, it gives you media coverage, brand awareness, and inbound traffic. If you’re not entirely familiar with digital PR, we’ve extensively covered the concept in another blog post; you can read it here. Newsjacking is one of the ways by which you can gain more out of less, even on a little to zero marketing budget.

So, how can you generate traction and undertake SaaS branding for your business with newsjacking? Let’s find out.

First Up, What Is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is an interesting concept that requires timely creative ideas to be quickly and simply executed. You pick a news topic or relevant trending story that’s just breaking, incorporate it into your SaaS marketing strategy, and piggyback on its popularity with engaging content — essentially hijacking the breaking news.

Breaking news generally attracts much traffic from around the web, anywhere in the world. When done well, newsjacking can tap into this exposure and put your brand on the map, increasing your brand awareness.

What’s Newsjacking Got to Do With Brand Awareness?

As it turns out, a lot.

Creates Audience Engagement

Specifically, when you newsjack the pop culture space that already garners high engagement. Audiences love to jump in on trends, share their views or repost interesting content – the perfect opportunity to win brand traffic.

With light-heartedness and relatability, newsjacking has the potential to drive positive conversations about your brand.

Improves Brand Recall

Journalism thrives on current events, which allows your business to stand front and center. The result? Large-scale exposure to audiences beyond boundaries, depending on the trend you pick. 

Newsjacking lets you create a lasting impression and improve your brand recall.

Improves Brand Recall

Journalism thrives on current events, which allows your business to stand front and center. The result? Large-scale exposure to audiences beyond boundaries, depending on the trend you pick. 

Newsjacking lets you create a lasting impression and improve your brand recall.

Tap Into Newsjacking for SaaS Marketing

Before we move into the method, it’s essential to understand the three key components of a good newsjacking campaign for success.

Now that you’ve ticked off the three elements, let’s dive into how you can make the most of newsjacking.

1. Stay Updated

You have to stay in the know of current happenings. Start with constantly monitoring the news. News websites are the obvious choice but don’t miss out on social media. Twitter is a hub of trending topics, given its distinct conversational format. The platform is so powerful that mainstream news websites pick up some trends off Twitter. Reddit is another platform you can use to track hot topics.

On the web, you can monitor Google Trends and set Alerts for topics of your interest. You can see a keyword’s popularity for any location and period. If there’s a sudden high uptick, it’s perhaps the right time for newsjacking.

Image Source

Sometimes, you can prepare in advance for scheduled events. For instance, you can devise a long-form, opinion-led article for International Internet Day (celebrated yearly on 29th October) a few months or weeks prior.

2. Familiarize Yourself With the Trend

You want to build a solid brand reputation. Therefore, demonstrating your expertise and understanding of sentiments is essential.

Whichever field of interest you choose, you need to educate yourself and get familiar with popular topics. Doing this will prepare you to anticipate audience reactions to sensitive discussions. It’ll also give you the confidence boost for sharing thought leadership opinions in the industry and having customers look up to you.

3. Think Out of the Box

Generic content isn’t going to get any attention. At the same time, remember that timing is vital. So, you must come up with unusual, out-of-the-box ideas at the drop of a hat. Speed and creativity are your two best friends when newsjacking.

First, pick the content format with which you want to communicate your message. Once you’ve decided on the format, work on the idea. Keep the content search-friendly by using relevant keywords and trending hashtags. The more searchable your content, the higher the chances of it being shared.

4. Avoid Controversy (Or Weave Through It Tastefully)

Most experts will caution you to stay clear of politics, religion, and natural disasters. Brands like Gillette and Sears faced the heat with poor campaigns that didn’t consider audience sentiments.

But others found ways to weave content sensitized to these trends.

Take the popular newsjacking example of Calm. The app sponsored the Key Race Alert on CNN during the 2020 U.S. presidential voting and aired a 30-second peaceful ad of rain falling on leaves. At a time of widespread stress, Calm’s “calming” and humorous newsjack brought relief and app downloads!

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5. Pick Appropriate Platforms

Not all channels will work for your campaign. While blogs and thought-leadership articles are good, social media triumphs at momentum and engagement.

Pick the social media platform that’s relevant to your content.

  • Twitter: To uncover trending topics or keep tabs on trending topics, and gauge real-time sentiment
  • TikTok: For quick trendjacking of UGC, best-suited to GenZ audiences
  • LinkedIn: Have niche conversations with specific industries and share timely personal experiences
  • YouTube: Takes the upper hand to rank better in search because its native to Google

6. Pitch to News Outlets

Only creating a content piece and posting it on your owned media may not get enough traction. You can amplify your reach by sharing the piece with news outlets.

But you don’t have to wait until the news breaks to curate a list of journalists. Keep this ready and include all the publications relevant to your brand. Craft a crisp and concise pitch email and send it to multiple outlets. 

If multiple outlets agree to pick up your story, but one publisher wants exclusive content, it could be a problem. You can either agree or disagree. If you agree, ask the publication to perhaps interview your CMO or CEO for an exclusive bit. 

If you disagree and want more coverage instead, be transparent when you share the story first. Inform them that you’ll be sending it to multiple outlets. And you’ll be happy to set up interviews if needed.  

To check if any publication picks up your piece, track the email opens and view those websites.

7. Monitor Performance 

To monitor your campaign’s performance, audience reaction is the first indicator. If they like your content, you’ll receive love and engagement.

Even if your campaign doesn’t live up to expectations, take it in your stride, figure out what didn’t work, and improve it the next time.

8. Partner With an Expert

If all of the above seems overwhelming, ask for help. We know running a business isn’t easy and needs firing on all cylinders simultaneously. SaaS PR experts, like Growfusely, can handle all your PR efforts and drive your campaign for success.

SaaS Brands’ Newsjacking in the Real World

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some newsjacking examples of brands that used it to solidify their SaaS branding.

Telegram

Telegram is a messaging app well-loved by more than 1.2 million people for its humorous and light-hearted Twitter account.

The Newsjack:

The brand’s competitor, WhatsApp, faced heat for its recent privacy updates. Telegram jumped in at the right moment with a funny tweet. It didn’t stop there. When audiences came across the tweet, they found it so relatable that they commented on and retweeted it. Telegram kept the momentum going with its witty replies.

Their content was so on point that some people signed up on the app only because of Telegram’s responses.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the first leading social media management platforms.

The Newsjack:

Although Hootsuite did this in 2014, it’s a prime example of how to do newsjacking right. The brand created a video based on Game of Thrones’ opening sequence. It showed each social media platform as a “house” and Hootsuite as “Westeros,” or the continent all houses shared.

Besides YouTube, the brand drove traffic from Twitter, Facebook, and multiple news outlets. And it still crops up in digital PR conversations today!

Subscript

Subscript is a subscription intelligence platform for B2B SaaS brands to unlock deeper insights.

The Newsjack:

If you think newsjacking is only for external customers, Subscript’s employer branding activity will make you think differently. The brand used Elon Musk’s viral email on remote work for Tesla employees and put a unique spin on it.

The post garnered much love on social media among the brand’s internal customers (employees) and potential leads.

Wrapping Up

When done right, newsjacking is a popular and effective digital PR technique to build brand awareness and reputation. If you stay up-to-date, be sensitive and respectful, deploy speed but not haste, and track your performance, you’re setting your brand up for success.

Use newsjacking to encourage engagement, drive conversations around your brand and attract prospects in a low-cost yet measurable way. Reach out to Growfusely to develop a holistic SaaS PR and newsjacking strategy.

The featured image is taken from Freepik

3 Examples of Digital PR Done Right from SaaS Companies

To grow in SaaS, you need to PRep right. And by PRep, we mean a sound digital PR plan.

But wait, isn’t a PR strategy hard to justify for bootstrapped SaaS firms — especially when the effects are more qualitative than quantitative? Therein lies the craft.

Why is SaaS PR Like an Insurmountable Peak?

Successful digital PR for SaaS involves many moving parts: 

  • Iterative brand image building
  • Building brand awareness
  • Wading through the competition
  • Achieving business profiling relevance
  • Hunting websites that give high-quality backlinks
  • Working closely with the product team
  • Locating tech journalists and building organic relationships
  • Carving a niche depending on the products and services on offer
  • Spending frugally on influencer marketing
  • Launching products that give back to society
  • Launching in-house offerings
  • Security first, always
  • Managing a crisis
  • Picking the type of media as you go
  • Getting technology partners on-board
  • Staying radically transparent with users
  • Planning the social media right
  • Helping build a dedicated user community
  • Doing all of the above, all while keeping the growth narrative product-led and not PR-led.

And most importantly, every digital plan should include measuring the success of the existing strategy with well-defined KPIs and objectives.

SaaS Firms That Are Doing Digital PR Right

The entire SaaS industry has grown by nearly 500% over the past seven years. And while we are sure that great, era-defining products are at the core, it wouldn’t have been possible without PR.

Here are the SaaS companies that have actually implemented the strategies mentioned above to come up with those near-perfect digital PR plans.

1. Zoom

What Does the Company Do?

A reputed video conferencing platform, powering communication in the form of meetings, webinars, online events, phone-based conversations, and chats.

The PR Primer

As per data from Statista, Zoom expanded 5x in just two years: 2018 to 2020. And it wasn’t just the products. Here is what they did in regard to their SaaS PR.

  • They were vocal and radically transparent about their achievements (clearly conveyed revenue generation numbers to data analysts and firms)
  • Kept staying in the news by pushing the growth narrative, increasing revenue from $45 million in 2018 to $225 million in 2020.
  • Handled the ‘Zoombombing’ crisis during the pandemic like pros, giving the company much negative publicity.
  • Eric Yuan (Founder) released official statements, took responsibility for the issue, and ensured that the Digital PR team aggressively circulated Zoom’s steps to ensure complete safety. The crisis was averted in a matter of weeks. 

What Can be Done Better?

Product upgrades and fixes need to be quick. For instance, the latest login server issue could have been kept hush-hush by making quick fixes. Instead, the news is now out at MyBroadband, with the PR team trying to douse the fire. 

Latest Insight Doing Digital Rounds

The PR team seems to have evaded the Web 3.0 debate for now, as today we see a positive Zoom post on Bloomberg, which says that despite the advent of VR headsets like Meta’s upcoming Quest, Zoom will continue to be useful.

2. Adobe

What Does the Company Do?

A company that started with licensed software offerings but has been moving towards the SaaS-first model from 2012 onwards. 

The PR Primer

The thing with Adobe is that they are very clear when it comes to carving out that niche and with relevant business profiling. Here is what their PR primer essentially looks like:

  • Working closely with the product team and spreading the word every time there is a positive change in the bottom line or a new product gets introduced.
  • Precisely planning the transition of standard customers to a thriving community by making them feel a part of the journey.
  • Focusing on the best possible UI and then creating a sense of supply to quell the user demand.
  • Smartest possible product acquisitions with Adobe adding the likes of Flash, Dreamweaver, and Macromedia to its portfolio over the past 15+ years. 
  • Great SEO game, led by a pitch-perfect backlinking strategy.
  • Focus on simplicity when the SaaS game keeps getting complicated.
  • Controlled ad spending with a focus on direct and programmatic approaches
Source: AlphaStreet

What Can be Done Better?

Adobe could try and get better at the paid media part of marketing, precisely some humane stories led by a more wholesome digital PR strategy. Yes, they have a great product suite, but some empathy is always good. 

Latest Insight Doing Digital Rounds

Remember giving back to society? Well, Adobe is doing just that as it has recently collaborated with AICTE to add to India’s digital literacy coverage. And the digital PR team is pushing out this pro-company narrative rather aggressively. 

3. Salesforce

What Does the Company Do?

An American SaaS leader focusing on cloud solutions and CRM products, powering marketing, sales, and service-intensive firms. 

The PR Primer

For a company as big as Salesforce, it is mostly always about showing strength, courtesy of iterative image building. Here are the things that Salesforce’s PR is particularly good at:

  • Focusing on driving organic growth by talking about employment generation at a time when layoffs were becoming industry standard. The company aggressively promoted its vision of hiring 73,000 employees, which has doubled since 2019. 
  • Hiring aggressively is a sign of strength, and with that, Salesforce even flaunted its market cap of $167.36 billion as of July 2022. 
  • Salesforce’s PR drives important narratives like the company being the existing market leader when the public cloud Software-as-a-Service tag is concerned. 
  • They have a dedicated page, more like a collection of news pieces and insights — allowing users to see what good the company is bringing to the world. The page includes customer success stories, earning reports, and almost everything that shouts radical transparency. 

What Can be Done Better?

As Salesforce is a humongous organization, every crisis is blown out of proportion. The digital PR team must have plans in place to get better at immediate crisis management. And that includes social media as well. 

Latest Insight Doing Digital Rounds

Salesforce has recently leapfrogged SAP to become the leading global vendor dealing in Enterprise applications. However, the PR coverage seems to be lukewarm for this massive bit of news. 

Wrap-Up

SaaS is growing, and there is no second-guessing the reasons: the tectonic shift towards IT,on-the-move software modules, and some dope PR game. As per stats, the United States still leads the world regarding the distribution of SaaS firms, having at least eight times more companies than any other country in the world. 

Yes, regardless of every story built around a brand, it is always the product that takes center stage. However, despite the best-in-class product, some SaaS companies continue to struggle due to a non-existent digital PR plan. So, if you plan on making it big in SaaS, take cues from the approaches of the companies we have put together. 

And while you are at it, scroll up and check the digital PR checklist we have put together for you. We really hope it serves you, PRfectly.

Featured Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

What Is The Best Day And Time To Send A Press Release? A Data-Driven Answer

Brand awareness, increasing web traffic, and lead generation are among the top reasons why startups invest in creating content. 

While press releases make up 34% of the most preferred type of content that startups create, they account for 67% of the results that startups get from their content efforts. 

Compared to website copy and blog posts, which account for 58% of results from content, press releases deliver more ROI. 

You may not write and distribute a press release every time something happens at your startup, but when you do, make the most out of your press release.

The first step is by writing a relevant and newsworthy press release, and the second is by choosing the best day and time to send it out.

In this post, we’ll look at what the data on email marketing says, compare it with data from what journalists prefer, to identify common trends. 

Assuming you’ve written your press release and you’re looking for the best day and time to send it out, then you’re in the right place. 

What is the Best Day and Time to Send a Press Release? 

When sending press releases, your primary distribution method is through email and media outlets. 

Social media comes in when both you and media outlets need to amplify your initial efforts, which is exactly what Shipyard did, in addition to having their press release published on Business Wire.

 That said, here are the different studies we’ll use to answer our question:

What is the Best Day to Send Your Press Release Emails?

 If members of your target audience work at ecommerce or SaaS startups, the best day to send an email is on Tuesday or Thursday, according to findings by Sendinblue. If your target audience works in marketing services, the best day to send emails is on Wednesday. 

According to Muck Rack’s state of journalism report, 94% of journalists prefer receiving pitches via email. So, if you’re reaching out to a journalist to pitch your press release for the first time, a cold email is the best way to get a hold of their attention. 

Siege Media’s findings suggest that you’re better off sending out your cold email on Monday if you’re looking to get an open rate of more than 20%. If you’re following up on your pitch (more on that later), send your follow-up email on Wednesday, to increase your chances of getting a response.

Now, that’s general email data on the best day to send an email. 

Let’s compare this with how journalists interact with the email pitches they receive and their preferences and identify any trends. 

Journalists prefer receiving email pitches early in the week, and this tapers off as the workweek progresses. Fridays aren’t a good day to send your press release as journalists are wrapping up their work week, making it more likely to have your pitch ignored.

In a typical work week, a journalist will receive more than 20 pitches. Given 59% of journalists publish a quarter of the pitches they receive, you’re better off sending your press release on Monday or Tuesday. 

Journalists work at least 4 beats, meaning that they receive more email pitches to cover stories in each of these beats, so if you’ve done your homework and your timing is relevant, send a follow-up email. 

Their preference on what to publish will be determined by how relevant your pitch is, and if you have done your homework, follow up using a compelling subject line to increase the chances of your emails standing out in their inbox. 

What is the Best Time to Send Your Press Release Email? 

Going back to industry data from Sendinblue, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in SaaS, Ecommerce, and marketing services are the best times to send your emails. 

Siege Media’s findings don’t deviate far from this, as the report suggests that you send your cold emails from 6-9 am if you’re in EST and from 9-12 pm if you’re in PST. 

On the other hand, 67% of journalists prefer receiving pitches between 5 am and 12 pm. 

Regardless of the niche, general email behavior suggests that most people want to deal with emails earlier in the day (either when they wake up) or when they get to the office before starting off their workday.

For journalists, that’s not any different, and you want your press release to land in their inboxes early enough to have a shot at being covered. 

Well, the data will tell you one thing, but that’s not the whole story

There are factors that will get in the way of sending out your press release on any of the days listed so the best day and time we’ve presented here should be a guide.

 For example, a public holiday that falls on a Monday means you’ll have to either send out your press release on the second-best day, which is on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

If your content program involves localizing your content, In some cases you’ll need to consider hiring a content writer and the different time zones of different locations where you want to deliver your press release to make sure you send it at the right time.  

Current events will also influence the best day and time you’ll send your press release. One of the reasons journalists fail to publish a story they receive is because of bad timing and irrelevance. 

For example, Order, (formerly Negotiatus), a spend efficiency platform, published its press release at a time when supply chains were chaotic and businesses didn’t have an efficient way of keeping track of their stock or shipping items reliably.

Their timing was appropriate due to current events, and they were more likely to get more visibility during the COVID-19 pandemic than at any other time. 

On average, a journalist covers four beats, which means that in addition to your story being relevant, you also need to be aware of what’s going on in the other niches they are covering. 

So instead of mass-emailing journalists and hoping for the best, narrow down your focus and send your pitch to a few journalists who are more likely to open and read your pitch.

Muck Rack’s insights on more than 5 million pitches reveal that the larger the list of journalists you email, the less likely it is for them to open your email:

The more journalists you target, the less personalized your pitch will be, making it harder to stand out. It is even likely that you will be sending emails to journalists who do not cover your industry.  

Narrow your targeting by using Muck Rack to monitor what journalists write about, the topics they cover, their location, and their social media activities. You can also use the tool to identify online publishers and bloggers who cover topics related to your industry. 

Put all this information into an excel sheet to make it easier for you to filter your list to know who to reach out to when your press release is ready

Conclusion

Having learned about the best day and time to send your press release, you’re in a better position to decide which day works best for you, depending on how you intend to distribute your press release. 

Here’s a recap of what we just covered:

Send your press release emails on Monday or on Tuesday preferably early in the morning, between 6:00 and 10:00 am or between 10:00 am and  4:00 pm. 

Factors such as current events and location will affect the relevance and timing of your press release. Use the best day and time we’ve established to guide you when deciding when to send your press release. 

How to Write A Press Release for An Event: Like A Pro Journalist

A good press release about an event can generate thousands of views and impressions for your company.

In fact, recently a search marketing company named WordStream was able to get 10K media mentions with just one story.

In this article, I’ll show you how to get similar results for your next press release.

Let’s go.

Read More How to Write A Press Release for An Event: Like A Pro Journalist

How to Write the Most Eye-Catching Headlines for Your Press Release

With over 2 million blog posts being published on the Internet every day, grabbing the attention of your target audience isn’t going to be a walk in the park. That’s why a well-thought-out headline is the most critical aspect of your press release, irrespective of the magnitude of the actual news.

Read More How to Write the Most Eye-Catching Headlines for Your Press Release