Newsjacking: the what, why, & how

Newspaper and coffee
 Jack of all trades…

We’ve taken on a couple of new clients recently that have asked us about newsjacking. They’ve heard scraps of info about it – mainly through social media – and they want to find out a bit more. Usually, they ask us what it is, and how and why they should be doing it.

Newsjacking isn’t a new concept but has recently been popularised by David Meerman Scott’s book, ‘Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tonnes of Media Coverage.’

Newsjacking refers to the practice of capitalising on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success basically ‘jumping on the band waggon’.

The popularity of a news story can die down pretty swiftly so you have to work fast. Seizing a story as quick as possible will ensure greater impact.

David Meerman Scott uses a great graphic to help understand the process:

 If people are going to be talking about something that affects your target audience, you need be involved.

Remeber newsjacking can extend beyond your direct industry. Make sure you don’t go too far as we have seen some pretty bad situations.

Take Gap, for example, we’re not quite sure why clothing lines seem to think it’s OK to newsjack a natural disaster?

Probably best practice not to use someone else’s misfortune for self-gain.
Why should you be newsjacking? 
When everyone starts wearing the latest trend you join in right? So when a big news story is about to hit you do the same – ride the popularity wave and get your business noticed!
We’ve already talked about working quick, this avoids getting stuck on details and prospects of a piece. Forcing you into action.
As Nike so famously tell us – Just do it.
Not only will newsjacking help efficiency it can also boost SEO and improve reputation. Newsjacking helps drive traffic producing new leads.
It’s a low cost, fast path to growth.
Recently you may have seen Ikea’s great example. Luxury French fashion house Balenciaga debuted its new Arena Extra-Large Shopper Tote Bag.
Ikea was quick to response to this dupe of their £1 shopping bag.
They used social media and a quick plug on their website to give a light-hearted response.
Following their response, Ikea started a trend of people repurposing their £1 bags. This has heightened sales and website traffic.
Loo roll brand, Charmin has served as an example of taking a product and making it inherently shareable.
At last year’s Oscars, they were ready and waiting with brand marketing that poked fun both at the event and at its own product without crossing the line into poor taste.
Take this tweet, for example:
It’s funny, simple, relevant to the brand — and even more relevant to the nominees. All this without being blatantly promotional.
If you still think newsjacking is for you then follow these next 5 easy steps to securing your spotlight.
Newsjacking isn’t actually that hard you just need to be able to think and work fast, it’s all about being quick.
1. Keep your eyes peeled.
If you’re planning to get involved with newsjacking you need to make sure you’re ready.
Having alerts set up surround the topic will help you not to miss anything. Social media and Twitter are great tools to help you stay on top of the story.
Get alerts set up surround the topic will make sure you don’t miss a thing. Social media and Twitter are great tools to help you stay on top of the story.
2. Gain knowledge.
If you going to news Jack a story then you need to know what you’re talking about. Read up to make sure what you’re producing is going to be original.
3. Accuracy and efficiency.
Writing fast is key but making never forget to make sure what you’re writing is accurate. You want to be the first to respond but make sure you know what you’re responding to.
4. Differentiate yourself.
Make sure to inject your own angle into your response, Giving people a reason to reference you. Decide what’s going to be of utmost interest and stick with that.
Decide what’s going to be of utmost interest and stick with that.
5. Get the word out.
The news is going to be big meaning it’s easy to fall in the midst of all of the noise. Build relationships with the journalist that will be on the look out for comments when writing.
Build relationships with the journalist that will be on the look out for comments when writing.
Use social media to share and keep an eye on relevant hashtags and content for your story.
It might seem like a lot to get on with but under the time pressure, it quickly goes by. Make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to go big.
Let us know how you get on and share on of your latest newsjacking tips and tricks. 
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