Impending changes in legislation, government announcements, and latest national news stories provide businesses with an opportunity to position themselves as the expert on that particular topic.

This will build trust between the brand and its customers, and will help them stand out against their competitors.

For example, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law in May 2018, providing industries including IT, telecoms, and document management with the chance to lead on the conversation.

For proactive PR on a topic, the first step is to create a content calendar. Identify any milestones ahead of the change.

In the absence of concrete talking points, generate your own. For example, identify the top five elements companies should be aware of and centre content campaigns around each of these.

Draft expert commentary articles and publish them on your website. Consider building a dedicated section to the main subject to allow people to easily find relevant material.

Take it beyond just words by recording a short video discussing the points raised in the copy, and by producing an infographic to present it visually.

Research off- and online media and other influential publishers to identify outlets that may be interested in your article.

Integrate all activity with the rest of your marketing.

Share your post, and any coverage earned on trusted third party websites, on social media. Extend the reach of your content by using hashtags relevant to the matter of interest.

In addition, use in your email, PPC, and SEO campaigns, as well as offline tactics including hosting events and seminars, for maximum benefit.

As your brand becomes well known in the industry, it opens the door for being approached by third parties including print and broadcast media to comment on a topical news story or a feature they are planning.

More importantly, customers will seek you out if they have a query or would like information on a subject.

In addition to being proactive, being flexible to comment on breaking national news will also benefit your reputation. For example, an agency offering email marketing could have provided expert commentary on the £80,000 fine given to MoneySuperMarket for sending seven million unwanted emails.

Or any business related to drones, including manufacturers and operators, could comment on the UK Government’s announcement that it is introducing drone registration.