The art of newsjacking

Here, Refresh account manager, Claire, shares her thoughts on how brands can successfully newsjack. 

Have you ever seen a news story, or even something trending on Twitter, and thought ‘our brand / business has a great story to tell linking to that topic’? If so, that’s where newsjacking comes in.

What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking, a term which was coined by marketer David Meerman Scott, is the process of jumping on trends or breaking news stories and adding your comments, theories and thoughts to the mix.

From PR and social media to SEO, newsjacking can be used across the content creation sphere to elevate what brands, businesses and people have to say about topics in the public domain. 

The art of newsjacking comes in many forms. It can be anything from quote retweeting a news story and adding your business’ opinion, to seeing an article online and getting in touch with the journalist with business data which supports/refutes the story.

What are the benefits of newsjacking?

Here at Refresh, we’re always monitoring the news agenda to ensure we’re keeping on top of breaking news which is relevant to our clients and their industries. Keeping an eye on the latest industry news and following news outlets on social media, is the simplest way for businesses to spot newsjacking opportunities.

With this in mind, newsjacking is one way of ensuing content is timely and ultra-relevant.

The art of newsjacking also helps businesses showcase their spokespeople as experts in the industry. By sharing expert commentary on social media, via a press comment or a blog post, newsjacking helps to showcase the business as leading in the market.

Newsjacking also helps businesses get a bigger bang for their buck. If you have commissioned a survey in the past and then a news story comes out which your research, or even business data, can be linked to, this gives you a new opportunity to talk about the data which, just a few days ago, you thought was old news.

However, newsjacking can be tricky to navigate and there is a fine line between what topics should and shouldn’t be ‘newsjacked’.

Things to consider before newsjacking

Firstly, it shouldn’t be underestimated how time sensitive newsjacking is. The news agenda moves very quickly so if you’re wanting to be noticed, you’ll need to be quick before the topic becomes old news. 

With this in mind, if you’re thinking of newsjacking events which are coming, you should prepare comments and social content ahead of time. For example, COP26 is currently taking place in Glasgow, this is a huge global event which is on the agenda of many, if not all businesses. Newsjacking linked to big events, especially from a PR perspective, can planned for months in advance, however even the best predictions can be incorrect so having a bank of reactive comments, and a spokesperson on standby, will ensure you’ve got the best possible shot of being heard.

The second to consider is the sensitivity that comes hand in hand with newsjacking.

Not every situation or news story needs commenting on and content creators need to keep this in mind when newsjacking. It goes without saying that there are some situations, such as natural disasters and tragedies, which absolutely shouldn’t be considered or even seen as potential opportunities. Not only can this come across as insensitive and offensive, but it can also have a detrimental impact on brand reputation.

 Questions to ask when considering newsjacking

  • Is this topic relevant to what we do and who we are a business?
  • Do we want our brand to be associated with this news?
  • Do we have a story to tell?
  • Will what we have to say add to the conversation?

Here at Refresh, we’ve been newsjacking for many years, so if you would like some advice on newsjacking and how to make sure you’re staying timely, get in touch. 

Let us support you

Want to grow your business, change direction, shout louder, boost your sales leads, or keep your brand out of the news? Our door is always open. If you think we can help, get in touch.

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