Newsjacking is not new – everyone from politicians and comedians to, yes, marketers make use of this concept, a term coined by marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott. But now, newsjacking has become an essential daily instrument in the content marketer’s or brand’s toolkit, and if you’re not trolling the breaking news every day for how it could benefit your brand or your clients, you could be missing out on some golden opportunities.
What is it?
Just as a refresher, Meerman Scott defines “newsjacking” as the art of injecting your ideas into breaking news stories to draw attention to your own content. Some of his suggestions for doing so?
- Blog your take on the news.
- Tweet it using an established hashtag.
- Send a real-time media alert.
- Hold a live or virtual news conference.
- Directly contact a journalist who may be interested.
I would add to that using other social media channels, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and videos or vines. Indeed, content marketers would do well to take a page from the late-night comedians’ playbook when newsjacking. Constantly taking advantage of the day’s headlines in their monologues or comedy sketches both to get a laugh and to increase exposure and ratings, it’s not unusual for their antics to go viral on YouTube.
Doing it Down Under
I’m starting to see it more and more both in Australia and New Zealand and with my clients. Going back a year ago, Breast Cancer Network Australia was one of many organisations that capitalised on superstar Angelina Jolie’s prophylactic double mastectomy surgery to bring attention to breast cancer in Australia. Many companies, including Coke, with its Share a Coke campaign, made the most of the arrival of the royal baby last July. In October, Melbourne Tourism launched its Remote Control Tourist campaign, streaming four days’ worth of activities on offer in the city – as they happened. In November in New Zealand, Adidas saw an opportunity in the All Blacks’ undefeated season and seized it. And in the wake of Barry O’Farrell’s resignation, Penfolds did not have to resort to any newsjacking – everyone else did it for them!
Last week was a banner week for newsjacking in Australia with the release of the 2014 budget – writer Kath Walters even provided a handy tutorial (and, in so doing, newsjacked the budget herself). My client, Robert Half, also saw an opening and took it, posting to Facebook and tweeting about the budget and its impact on the Robert Half community.
If you’re not newsjacking, get started
Robert Half is switched on. The company maintains and regularly examines a calendar of events – both national and international – anticipating how capitalising on those events could boost its brand and provide relevant information to its audience. (See “Five reasons recruitment is like an Easter egg hunt”, for example.)
It’s a great place to start. From there, it’s a good idea for you (or at least a component of your organisation) to become a real-time newsroom, or what Urgent Genius calls “a newsjacking lab”.
In other words, know what’s happening today, and act on it today. You just might be viral tomorrow.
Kasey Clark – Editor