Joe Ferrary
By Joe Ferrary on July 14, 2023

7 tips for tech trendjacking

Trendjacking is a PR and marketing tactic that capitalizes on breaking news, current events or cultural moments; i.e., topics that are popular and already trending. Think generative AI, ransomware, sustainability, etc. This type of timely content leverages existing audience interest to amplify a brand's unique point of view, align with the trend and create go-to experts. 

Trendjacking has become a powerful tactic for companies to enhance or establish their executives' and thought leaders' profiles, positioning them as expert sources for key media on the latest trending technology topics.

By commenting on existing conversations, spokespeople insert their own narratives across both social and traditional media. Raising brand awareness and engaging with your audiences via trendjacking can also increase earned media, add organic reach and improve brand credibility.

But it must be done strategically and intentionally. 

Here are our seven tips for tech trendjacking to help break through the noise and stay ahead of the competition.

No 1. Have a strong point of view

A strong, unique POV is a must. To cut through the noise, bring new — and perhaps provocative — points to the conversation. But don't be controversial or contrary just to get attention. Messages must be authentic to your brand. Push your organization to dig deep on important narrative, so spokespeople can say what others won't. Be sure your executives and thought leaders are properly prepared to not only deliver clear, novel thinking but also answer tough questions. 

No 2. Go to the source 

To ensure a differentiated POV, go directly to your executives and SMEs to discover their passions. The more spokespeople can comment and speak on topics that mean something to them, the more they will come across as sincere and insightful. Build this authenticity into your overall communications and brand goals.

No 3. Develop a commentary bank

There is nothing worse than being unprepared or unable to get approvals when opportunities for trendjacking arrive. That's why having a vault full of insightful (and approved) executive commentary that can be deployed at a moment's notice is a make or break to getting inserted into a hot topic. Review your commentary quarterly to keep the content fresh.

No 4. Define your swim lanes

Not every trending topic will be a fit for your brand or spokespeople. Define the areas where your voice will be most effective and can expand the possibilities for how far an executive's platform reaches. This means strategically assigning topics to the right experts ahead of time to help avoid them all talking about the same topic

No 5. Be data driven

Have research, statistics and other authoritative proof points to back up any claims in your commentary bank. Data-driven messaging shows reporters that your words are grounded facts, and positions your experts as current and well-informed. This will increase your chances of being included in the coverage. 

No 6. Monitor social media like a hawk

While a particular topic may seem ideal to insert your organization in at the time, narratives can shift at a moment's notice. React soon, but not too soon. Although speed is crucial for trendjacking, it's also vital to monitor the topic over time across various news outlets to see how it's resonating and being covered. There might be times when jumping on a trend could be damaging rather than amplifying. 

No 7. Avoid common pitfalls

Be mindful of hot-button topics that can quickly become a PR nightmare if handled incorrectly. You might want to have a list of topics deemed off limits. Look at any topic from multiple perspectives before making assumptions or offering opinions. Don't be overly opportunistic with your messaging either, as it could come across as tone-deaf or insincere. 


Talk with one of Highwire's tech PR experts


Real-world examples of leveraging trendjacking 

With all these nuances, how can companies do it right? Here are a few good examples. 


Coveo, a trailblazer in AI-powered enterprise search capabilities, received a significant media mention in The Wall Street Journal thanks to diligent outreach to a reporter. Belle Lin, an enterprise journalist at the publication, featured Coveo and its CEO in a recently published piece.

As ChatGPT and all things generative AI dominated the global media landscape this Spring, the pressure was on for any company hoping to break through and share how they plan to harness the power of this latest innovation. For Coveo, educating the public on how they have been utilizing this technology for over a decade despite its recent boom was a priority - especially within the business press vertical. 

After persistent efforts to communicate the uniqueness and potential impact of Coveo's offering in the tech landscape, The Wall Street Journal took notice and included the organization in a roundup of those utilizing ChatGPT to optimize enterprise search. The aim was not merely to grab the reporter's attention, but to convey the company's vision and the implications of its groundbreaking technology for businesses.

The mention in the Wall Street Journal served as a high-profile endorsement for Coveo. Known for its insightful reporting and discerning readership, a feature in this tier one publication added credibility to Coveo's standing in the industry.

Embrace trendjacking with Highwire

Our approach to helping executives cut through the noise and stand out in the crowd is tried and true. We can help you trendjack — capitalizing on the momentum of popular trends to increase the success of your communications plan. We see every day as a fresh opportunity to tell your story and align your brand with the pulse of your industry. Get in touch today.

Published by Joe Ferrary July 14, 2023
Joe Ferrary