How newsjacking can get you into the press


How newsjacking can get you into the press

When it’s done properly, newsjacking is a fabulous way of creating shareable, high quality content – but the only caveat is that you’ve got to find your story, create something interesting and share it, all within a very short space of time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the PR tactic, marketing and sales strategist, David Meerman Scott, refers to it as:

‘[…] the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.’

While there’s plenty of bad examples of newsjacking, it can provide fantastic results that position your brand firmly in the spotlight in a positive and meaningful way.

To be successful in your efforts you need to:

1. Be relevant

It might be tempting to try and weave a tenuous link between your business and the topic in question, but the crux of any news story is a good angle. There needs to be a genuine connection between your business and the news item – and forcing something that’s irrelevant can do more harm than good.

2. Be careful

There are many examples of distasteful newsjacking attempts, but one that sticks in our mind relates to the Grenfell Tower disaster. Hours after the event, a finance company sent out a media alert about the small pot of cash it had donated to the victims.

The problem was, that most of the email focused on wanting a media mention. Not only was it deluded to think that donating a few grand in the midst of a terrible disaster would make them the news focus – it was ill-timed, ill-conceived and embarrassing. The newsjacking attempt backfired when a journalist shared the email and it went viral – leaving the companies’ reputation in tatters.

3. Be a news monster

To jack the news, you need to know it. If you don’t have the foggiest what’s going on in the world, you can’t expect to get PR results in this way. Read the news, watch it, listen to it and talk about it with your colleagues – these are the things that will help you in your newsjacking mission. Google Alerts are useful for helping you keep abreast of topics in your industry, so don’t forget to set those up too.

4. Be quick

News breaks at the speed of light, and with rolling news channels, there’s no time to waste. The saying ‘if you snooze, you lose’ has never been more appropriate here, and you’ll need to jump on a story straight away if you want results. It’s no good waiting until two days after the event, because however good your story is, it’ll be seen as old.

To put it into perspective, David Meerman shows the life of a news story:


5. Be an expert

If you’re aligning your business or brand to a news story, you need to think of all the questions a journalist might ask you. Know your topic well, craft your opinion on the subject, and help the media professional contextualise a story by giving them as much information as you can.

When you’re busy focusing on the rest of your business, you might not have the resources to consume rolling news or jump on an opportunity as soon as it arises. At Haiku Creative, we can do that for you. To find out how, contact us today.