In business, keeping up with current affairs is crucial. But, has a trending news story ever stopped you in your tracks, and made you think ‘I could comment on that?’
That is where the art of ‘newsjacking’ comes into play. Done correctly, this tactic get your business heard, positioning you as the expert.
What is ‘newsjacking’?
Put simply, ‘newsjacking’ is the process of keeping up with current affairs, with a view to react and jump on topical trends by adding comments, thoughts, or theories. The term was originally coined by marketeer David Meerman Scott, but it has become a tactic that many businesses employ to remain heard.
The lowdown on newsjacking
To be successful, the first thing you need to do is keep up with the news, and online trends. If you see something that relates to your industry, or area of expertise, delve deeper and strategically plan your input.
Here at CCF Media, our team of PR experts understand this delicate art, and are constantly monitoring news agendas, and online trends to make sure we are across any breaking news relevant to our clients. Once we spot that opportunity, that’s where the real magic begins.
The first thing we do, is delve deeper. We like to get all the latest developments and facts in hand before we begin to craft our approach.
The approach you take will depend on the platform, and how much you have to say. If it’s a small comment, why not take to Twitter and retweet with your comment? An opinion, say it in a blog post that is shared across your channel. However, if you have facts, figures, or a key spokesperson, we advise taking the PR approach.
Whether its expert comments, a whole new pitch or a case study, the PR approach starts by reaching out to the relevant journalist. From there, we can tailor a response around your data, statistics, or expert commentary to aid the news agenda, and get your name heard in the press.
Sounds great right? However, try to be mindful that newsjacking isn’t always that simple. There is a fine line between what topics should and shouldn’t be commented on.
Think before you act
When it comes to ‘newsjacking’ timing really is everything. The news agenda moves on very quickly, so if you want to stand a chance, you need to strike whilst the iron is hot.
If it is a specific event, that you are considering newsjacking, you should aim to get comments, content or spokespeople lined up ahead of time. From a PR perspective, pitches and comments can be planned months in advance, but try to be prepared for change. As with any PR tragedy, you may need to adapt and tweak last minute. Even the best predications can be wrong.
Another thing to consider around newsjacking is sensitivity. It goes without saying, there are some situations, such as natural disasters, tragedies and personal misfortune that should never be seen as an opportunity for gain.
If you comment has potential to be taken out of context, comes across as insensitive or could be offensive, its best to steer clear. You don’t want any avoidable negative press surrounding your business, this may have a detrimental effect on your reputation.
So, in the spirit of making things a little easier for you, we have prepared 6 simple questions to ask yourself before you wield a newsjack.
- Is this topic relevant to what we do, and who we are as a business?
- Do we want to be associated with this news agenda?
- Do we have an interesting take on the situation, data, or key spokesperson?
- Could anything we say be taken out of context?
- What will we add to the conversation?
- Who are we hoping to reach?
Executed tastefully it could elevate your brand, and help you reach your audience. Of course, here at CCF Media our team of whizz kids have perfected the art and are here to help. Ask us about our PR and marketing services.
If you need any help or advice on newsjacking or managing your communications strategy get in touch.