Newsjacking to promote your brand
Newsjacking is the art of inserting your message or your brand into the news cycle when a big story breaks. By taking advantage of public interest in a breaking story with a related angle that benefits your organisation you can attract major media attention and a mass audience for your brand.
Newsjacking is a no-brainer for communicators but you have to do it right.
First, you must follow the news and be alert for breaking stories that can be used to your advantage. [Tweet This]
To stay on top of breaking news, you can bookmark your favourite news sources such as; news websites, social media and the Medianet News Hub for all the latest company news releases distributed via Medianet. Or you can set up Google News Alert by using keywords related to your industry.
Next, you have to be decisive. When you spot a story that's ripe for newsjacking, your organisation needs to act in a well-planned, swift manner. You need to be the first mover or someone will beat you to the punch. If you procrastinate, the story gets old and the media loses interest. In a fast moving 24-hour news cycle your window to act is small.
Here's a real-life example of effective newsjacking:
Actress Kate Winslet was holidaying with Sir Richard Branson in the British Virgin Islands when lightning struck, setting Branson's private retreat alight. Branson's 90-year-old mother, Eve, was in the home, and Winslet carried her to safety.
News outlets loved the story and ran it worldwide. Within a few hours it was newsjacked by the London Fire Brigade which made public an offer for Kate Winslet to train with its firefighters and learn about fire safety.
Celebrity-hungry media devoured the Winslet angle, giving the London Fire Brigade massive publicity including reinforcement of its key message about how to survive a house fire.
So now you feel ready to newsjack a breaking story
Let's say you're a major Australian clothing retailer who wants to offer a high-profile celebrity fashion advice and a year's worth of footwear after a story breaks that he wears cheap imported socks that quickly develop holes - what's next?
Get your message together fast in the form of an attention grabbing news release that strongly references the breaking news story. In the case of our clothing retailer, make it entertaining and to the point: "Pulling Chris Hemsworth's socks up with Aussie flair".
Now get your message into the news cycle as quickly as possible. Use Medianet's fast and effective press release distribution service to get the story out, put it on your website, push it through social media, take advantage of Medianet's social media distribution service. Be prepared to comment on celebrities' fashion sense, men's fashion and Australian trends. Offer photo opportunities.
If you are fast enough and your message is relevant it will be picked up by media and reach a mass audience. You will have staged a successful newsjack for your brand.
1. Follow the news
Make sure you regularly check your bookmarked news sources and the Medianet News Hub to stay on top of the latest news so you can easily identify newsjacking opportunities for your audience
2. Have a Newsjacking plan
Once you've got a great idea to distribute your story, do some quick research. Has someone beaten you to it? No, then create your content quickly and have a process in place for fast approval to go public.
3. Get it out quickly
Know how you are going to distribute your story. Use a press release distribution service and social media combined to get your angle into the media within hours. Be smart with keywords and phrases to get SEO benefits.
4. Be credible
Have a genuine story to tell and be prepared to comment to journalists. Even if your newsjack attempt is little more than entertainment, it can still pay off for your brand if you are credible.
5. Be sensitive
Some stories are simply not suited for newsjacking. Be sensitive to suffering or tragedy. If Richard Branson's mum had not survived that fire, the story would not be a suitable newsjacking target.
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