Newsjacking: What is it, When is it Appropriate, and How to Do it?

Newsjacking is a term coined by David Meerman Scott in his book, “Newsjacking.” According to Scott, newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story, so you and your ideas get noticed. Whether you refer to the strategy as newsjacking, rapid response pitching, or piggybacking, the main idea is the same– to stay on top of breaking news and current events, then strategically position someone as the expert to discuss the topic from a local or industry perspective. This strategy is not by any means new, but has evolved over the years as people look to Twitter and other social media channels for constant news in real-time.

What is Newsjacking?

When there is breaking news, reporters look for spokespeople that can comment on the topic. Injecting their expertise and point of view to make the news relevant. Newsjacking typically occurs right after there is breaking news and during the time where journalists are looking for more information and sources for their articles.

When is Newsjacking Appropriate?

Not every breaking news story is an appropriate opportunity for newsjacking. It is more effective to be strategic and thoughtful, that way the media will pay closer attention to what is being pitched.

Consider the type of news and the story:

  • It must be relevant to your business and brand.
  • Ask yourself how your expert is related to the breaking news.

Think before you hit send:

  • While time is of the essence with newsjacking, be careful and sensitive approaching potentially difficult topics.

Has this reporter / outlet written about this news yet?

  • Pause and take a moment to research who has written about the topic and what has already been published.

How do you Newsjack?

Here are some tips on how your business can successfully newsjack:

  • Monitor what is #trending on Twitter and in the news– be sure to set alerts on Twitter for #breakingnews.
  • Follow journalists and media outlets closely and keep an eye out for their updates.
  • Monitor keywords and phrases in the industry.
  • Know the right reporters: A key to successful newsjacking is getting in touch with the reporter quickly and being known as a trusted source.
  • Don’t just stick to email: Effective rapid response pitching may mean picking up the phone or sliding into a reporters’ DMs.

The most important factor to keep in mind with newsjacking is to offer legitimate expertise on a topic. When clients can provide value and have relevant news or commentary to offer a reporter, the strategy is a success.

Thank you for reading our latest Insight on newsjacking. For more guidance on adapting PR strategies for the news media, check out Veronica’s Insight.

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