Newsjacking by David Meerman Scott



Newsjacking is the art of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story. In today’s world, news spreads rapidly through social media. By aligning your company’s goals with trending stories in a meaningful way, you can stay fresh in the minds of your consumers.

11 lessons


– by David Meerman Scott –

1) Learn how Newsjacking works

When something breaks in the news, journalists all over the world scramble to put out a news flash within minutes. Next, journalists have to update the story, fleshing it out with details and context, so they scour the web for anything that might give them a second paragraph. They turn to Google and Twitter to see who might have something interesting to add. Often they are near desperate and willing to snap at whatever relevant bait you can provide. Your job is to instantly spot an angle and get it online — via your blog, Twitter, or media alert — as fast as you can.


2) You have to be quick

Newsjacking is powerful, but only when executed in real time. It is about taking advantage of opportunities that pop up for a fleeting moment, then disappear. In that instant, if you are clever enough to add a new dimension to the story in real time, the news media will write about you.

3) Understand the power of Newsjacking

Public discourse now moves so fast and so dynamically that all it takes is a single afternoon to blast the wheels off someone’s laboriously crafted narrative. The shot can come from anywhere, even a lone blogger on the other side of the world. And it can be put together in under an hour by anyone who sees an opportunity.

4) Newsjacking can be effective for any individual or organization

Newsjacking can work for all sorts of outfits and people—it doesn’t matter if you are large and well known or tiny and obscure. This technique can be used by nonprofits, political campaigns, business-to-business marketers, and even individuals. It can work for you, too.

5) Follow people for valuable information

The first priority is to follow bloggers, analysts, journalists, and others who cover your business. Start by identifying as many voices as you can. Search for relevant online forums or chat rooms. Pinpoint bloggers who have discussed issues relating to your business. Keep searching continuously for new sources. To find these voices, start by checking the search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) for relevant keywords and phrases: your company, customers, competitors, prospects, product categories, buzzwords, and whatever else you can think of.

6) Open yourself up to serendipity

Many of the best examples of Newsjacking result from inspired improvisation, a real-time mind-set, and a work environment that encourages initiative. The critical thing is to recognize good fortune when it hits you on the head—and to act fast to make it your own.

7) Become an authority on your industry

If your blog develops a reputation for serving up informed, insightful, authoritative, articulate, quotable, and timely commentary on the issues in your industry, journalists will learn to seek you out when new issues arise.

8) Newsjacking presents an opportunity for smaller companies

What’s abundantly true is that Newsjacking is easier for nimbler players than it is for the lumbering giants of the corporate world. The obsession large corporations have with process may be their undoing. No move can be made without prior approval by a weekly meeting of department-level managers, if not the top brass. The slightest corporate utterance must be signed off by the legal department and be run past PR and ad agencies.

9) Link your message to existing content via comments

Many reporters now blog, and many online publications give readers space to comment on stories. Use these channels to engage them, pointing out facets of the story they may have overlooked—along with a link to your own blog or website. If your contribution offers real value, the reporter will sometimes follow up.

10) Balance the need to be quick and bold with the imperative to be in tune

Be dignified, positive, and upbeat; never mean or vindictive. Write articulate text in full sentences without chatty slang, industry jargon, corporate gobbledygook (phrases like mission-critical and cutting-edge), or social-media shorthand (e.g., IMHO). Don’t get too cute or clever — especially where human suffering is involved.

11) Keep trying, because it won’t work every time.

Even if you do everything right, though, you won’t succeed at every Newsjack you try. But I can guarantee you this: You won’t succeed if you don’t try. You need to be always on the lookout for shots on goal and to be ready to respond within the hour.