Act Fast and Newsjack

Newsjacking, a term coined by marketing strategist David Meerman Scott, is “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.” This widely popularized strategy is encouraging organizations to think more critically and strategically. At HCK2, we achieve this by engaging with trending topics and injecting our clients into the conversation. 

Newsjacking improves SEO, enhances brand reputation and can even lead to incremental sales. If you’re interested in creating your own newsjacking strategy, check out our three tips for success. 

  1. Track Daily News Coverage

Leverage Productivity Tools: Meltwater, a platform applying AI to identify trends and extending the reach of media monitoring, is a great example of a tool that can help you save time while gathering critical insights to editorial content and trending topics. 

Set Up Google Alerts: If you are interested in a budget-friendly option, Google Alerts is a powerful tool when used correctly. Once you have identified your goals, you can adjust your keywords accordingly and stay ahead of the media curve. Some goals may include tracking both positive and negative mentions competitor stories, industry specific terminology and more. 

Practice Active Listening: Find the original source of the story and read what others have already written on the topic. You can set your organization up for success by educating yourself on the topic as much as possible. This tactic will also help you track the life-cycle of the content and maintain credibility. 

  1. Act Swiftly and Decisively 

Respond Immediately: If you want to join the conversation, you have a few options. First, you can respond to breaking stories with a social media post. Relevant events may have your customers interested in their favorite brand’s point-of-view, so don’t forget to share your thoughts on the company’s social media pages. Second, reach out to the reporter with a timely and clever response. As noted above, it’s critical to be familiar with the topic, so your response is both relevant and original. The reporter will note and appreciate you put a unique twist or angle on the topic. 

Plan Ahead: While most newsjacking opportunities happen in the moment, there are some situations where you can prepare in advance. For example, an upcoming event is the perfect opportunity to “anticipate the headline.” If there’s an upcoming event where your organization plans to participate/attend, assemble your team of communications experts who are prepped and ready to respond. 

Create a Subject Matter Expert (SME) Matrix: Sometimes you can’t anticipate the headline. In situations such as these, it’s best to have an database with contact information that’s easily accessible. If a breaking news topic is relevant to your brand, or directly impacts it, knowing which expert to rely upon is critical. It’s important to be fast, but it’s even more important to be accurate. 

  1. Distribute, Distribute, Distribute!

Be Creative: Once you’ve joined the conversation and you have your audience’s attention, package your content creatively. For example, you can turn the news story into an original blog post or infographic. You can also create social media posts for each of your platforms to highlight the coverage. This tactic, often referred to as “repurposing,” is a great way to extend the life of your content. The opportunities are endless – be creative and thoughtful!

Cross-Distribute: Once you’ve developed original content, reach out to your media list and target reporters who have recently covered your topic. It’s always a good idea to reference the articles you read during your research on the topic. You might find a new reporter to add to your media list, ultimately leading to even more coverage.

Foster Relationships: Finally, it’s wise to maintain long-term relationships with the media. Reporters and journalists are constantly on the hunt for the next big story, and trust us, you want to be their go-to source. Don’t forget to say thank you for their time and efforts. This will take you far! 

Newsjacking is a powerful strategy, but only if it’s executed strategically and in real-time. It can enhance your brand’s reputation and ultimately position you as a thought leader within your industry. Act quickly, be thoughtful and stay relevant!