Newsjack the heatwave with the real story

As comms pros, our success is directly linked to our understanding of the world – and in turn, the media – and ensuring that our clients’ communications reflect it. Sometimes this means hijacking the news with an opinion (you can read how to do this in our blog). Other times it’s knowing when not to comment (Zed Tarar shares some great guidance on this in Sifted).

When we do comment for our clients, the goal is simple. We want to add more than noise to the conversation. We want to demonstrate our clients’ expertise and opinions on the topic. Why is this event important? What can be done to improve it or resolve it? What can be done to stop it happening again?

It’s getting really hot

There’s one thing on our mind this week – the heatwave. It has now been declared a national emergency, schools are shutting and those that can work from home are being advised to as temperatures are predicted to reach 40C in some areas of the UK.

So, what is the value-add to this conversation? What expertise do we need to hear?

We need to make it clear that this is due to the climate crisis.

Yet, unfortunately some areas of the media are more committed to bikini snaps than telling the real story behind the heatwave.

Worse still, one broadcast was compared to Netflix’s winter blockbuster, Don’t Look Up, when a meteorologist was criticised for not being happy about the weather despite the severe warnings he was giving about the risk to life.

It’s time to tell the real story

The media has a responsibility this week to make sure that the public understands what this heatwave means today, namely the immediate risks and precautions that must be taken. 

But it is also important to take advantage of this moment of salience to help people understand the bigger picture. That we are facing a climate crisis, the role humans play, and what more we should be doing – whether that should be individual lifestyle changes or the demands we should be making of our government.

It’s time to newsjack this heatwave with the real story.


By Kate Baldwin, Founder & MD at The Flywheelers

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