In today’s fast-paced digital world, businesses are constantly seeking ways to stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is newsjacking. Newsjacking is the art of taking advantage of breaking news or trending topics to promote your business and increase visibility. In this article, we’ll explore what newsjacking means, when it’s appropriate to use it, and how it can benefit your business.
Understanding Newsjacking and Its Potential Benefits
Newsjacking involves piggybacking off of a current news story or trend to promote your brand or products. This technique requires careful timing and a deep understanding of your target audience’s interests and concerns. By leveraging a current event or topic, you can tap into the public’s interest and generate buzz around your brand.
One of the primary benefits of newsjacking is that it can help your business stand out in a crowded marketplace. When you connect your brand to a news story or trend that people are already talking about, you increase your chances of being noticed and remembered. Additionally, newsjacking can help position your brand as timely, relevant, and in-touch with current events.
Identifying the Right Opportunities to Newsjack in PR and Marketing
While newsjacking can be a powerful tool for business promotion, it’s essential to approach it carefully and thoughtfully. Not every news story or trending topic is appropriate for every brand, and attempting to force a connection can come across as opportunistic or tone-deaf. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when identifying opportunities to newsjack in PR or marketing:
- Relevance: The news story or trend should be directly relevant to your brand or products. Attempting to shoehorn your brand into a conversation that isn’t a natural fit can be off-putting and harm your credibility.
- Timing: Newsjacking requires rapid action, as the window of opportunity can close quickly. You need to be prepared to act fast and ensure that your content is timely and relevant.
- Tone: The tone of your newsjacking content should match the tone of the news story or trend. Attempting to capitalize on a tragedy or sensitive topic in a flippant or insensitive way can backfire and harm your brand’s reputation.
Engaging in Newsworthy Conversations to Increase Visibility
Once you’ve identified a news story or trend that’s relevant to your brand, it’s time to jump into the conversation. This can involve creating content, participating in social media discussions, or reaching out to journalists and influencers. Here are a few ways to engage in newsworthy conversations and increase your brand’s visibility:
- Create timely content: Creating timely content that connects your brand to a news story or trend can be an effective way to increase visibility. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, or social media posts.
- Participate in social media discussions: Joining social media discussions related to the news story or trend can help you reach a wider audience and engage with potential customers. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and participate in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
- Reach out to journalists and influencers: Pitching your newsjacking content to journalists and influencers can help you amplify your message and reach a broader audience. Make sure to tailor your pitch to each individual and provide them with a compelling reason to share your content.
Leveraging Newsjacking as a Powerful Tool for Small Business Promotion
Newsjacking can be particularly beneficial for small businesses that may not have the resources to launch large-scale marketing campaigns. By leveraging current events and trends, small businesses can generate buzz and increase visibility without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips for successfully leveraging newsjacking as a small business:
- Stay up-to-date on current events: Keeping a close eye on current events and trends can help you identify opportunities to newsjack in a timely and relevant manner.
- Be creative: As a small business, you may not have the resources to create high-end content or launch a large-scale campaign. Instead, focus on being creative and finding unique ways to connect your brand to the news story or trend.
- Leverage social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for small businesses looking to increase visibility through newsjacking. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and engage with potential customers in a thoughtful and respectful manner.
Real-Life Examples of Successful Newsjacking Campaigns
There have been numerous successful newsjacking campaigns over the years, demonstrating the power of this technique when executed correctly. Here are a few examples:
Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet: During the 2013 Super Bowl, the power went out in the stadium, causing a 34-minute delay. Oreo quickly capitalized on the moment by tweeting an image of an Oreo cookie with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet went viral, generating over 10,000 retweets and cementing Oreo’s reputation as a clever and timely brand.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral fundraising campaign that took the world by storm in 2014. The campaign involved people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads and challenging others to do the same, all in support of raising awareness and funds for ALS research. The campaign was a massive success, raising over $220 million for the ALS Association and generating widespread media coverage.
Tide’s “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign: During the 2018 Super Bowl, Tide launched a highly successful newsjacking campaign. The campaign involved a series of ads that parodied other brands’ ads, ultimately revealing that they were all actually Tide ads. The campaign was clever, timely, and generated a lot of buzz for the Tide brand.
The Bottom Line: Newsjacking Can Help Your Business Stand Out
Newsjacking can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase visibility and stand out from the crowd. By connecting your brand to a current news story or trend, you can tap into the public’s interest and generate buzz around your brand. However, it’s essential to approach newsjacking carefully and thoughtfully, ensuring that your content is relevant, timely, and appropriate for your brand.
No, newsjacking is not appropriate for all types of businesses. It’s essential to ensure that the news story or trend is directly relevant to your brand and products, and that you approach the topic in a respectful and appropriate manner.
To ensure that your newsjacking content is timely and relevant, stay up-to-date on current events and trends, and be prepared to act quickly when an opportunity arises. Additionally, make sure to tailor your content to the specific news story or trend and use a tone that matches the tone of the conversation.
Yes, newsjacking can backfire if not executed correctly. Attempting to force a connection to a news story or trend that isn’t a natural fit for your brand can come across as opportunistic or tone-deaf and harm your brand’s reputation.
The success of a newsjacking campaign can be measured in a variety of ways, including social media engagement, website traffic, and media coverage. Make sure to track these metrics before, during, and after your newsjacking campaign to get a sense of its impact.
No, it’s not necessary to have a large budget for a successful newsjacking campaign. While larger companies may have more resources to invest in high-end content or large-scale campaigns, small businesses can still be successful with a creative approach and strategic use of social media.
Common mistakes to avoid when newsjacking include forcing a connection to a news story or trend that isn’t a natural fit for your brand, using a tone that is inappropriate for the conversation, and failing to stay up-to-date on current events and trends.
Yes, newsjacking can be used for crisis management. By quickly responding to a crisis with relevant and timely content, businesses can demonstrate that they are on top of the situation and working to address any issues.
Yes, there are legal considerations to keep in mind when newsjacking. It’s essential to ensure that your content doesn’t infringe on any copyrights or trademarks, and that you obtain any necessary permissions before using someone else’s content in your newsjacking campaign.