Earned Media Tip # 3 : NewsJacking

This is the 4th post in the series 10 Digital PR Tips for Earned Media.

David Meerman Scott’s book on newsjacking covers this topic in  depth.  It’s a technique I’ve used for many years and, done right, it works like a charm.

What exactly is newsjacking?  Scott defines “newsjacking” in the book as publishing your personal angle, ideas, or perspective into a breaking news story/event to earn media coverage for your company, brand, or products/services.

The premise is that when a news story breaks, journalists will be looking for new angles, insights, supporting data and related trends – that 2nd paragraph, if you will.

On a recent Bulldog Reporter webinar I had the opportunity to talk to 5 journalists and bloggers for an hour.  One of the things I asked them about was this concept of newsjacking.   They all agreed that done well it does work. The key words in that answer are – done well.

When they cover a breaking news item they’re looking for

  • someone who can provide them with credible information about the news event
  • a new perspective related to that event
  • insights into how and why something happened
  • the ability to interpret the news event’s impact and/or future implications
  • how the news item is affecting other areas or industries
  • new threats or opportunities arising from or created by the news event

Successful newsjacking requires a fast, intelligent response.  You cannot predict breaking news before it happens., so you have to watching the news 24/7 and be ready to act in a flash.  Responding 24 to 48 hours later means you miss the boat.  This is the perfect example of that old adage:  he who hesitates is lost.

However, that doesn’t mean that you rush in unprepared.  Although you need to be fast and innovative you also have to be thorough and credible.

The main tool journalists and bloggers use to find information related to a news item is search.  You have to make sure that you know how to optimize for and distribute your content to Google News and social sites like Twitter, so that when they search keywords related to the breaking news item, your content shows up.

Image credit:   Social Media Reinvention

For a full review of the book see this post on Social Media Reinvention

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