Its one of the biggest PR secrets going, or at least it was until recently. PRs both in and out of house would scour the headlines carefully watching the topics and then devising ways to jump on board the thriving trend.
Why do we do it? To get the press to pay attention, and they do. In massive quantities....
These days of course it's a lot easier. Now PRs can dip into a Google Alerts, check out News Now or Journo Link or just generally swipe away through Twitter to see who's talking about what. Newsjacking has become the norm. Now, it's part of the steady daily diet of any marketer. You don't even have to be a PR.
So what does it mean?
The art of newsjacking isn't simply adding a link to a trending topic in your blog post in the hope that it gains some traction, there is a specific step to it that can either make or break your content.
The key is timing.
A genius man by the name of David Meerman Scott wrote a book called “The New Rules And Realities Of Sales And Marketing” He came to the conclusion that there is a sweet spot on which the newsjack can take place and literally rocket your brand.
Get it slightly off timing and the system won't work. (In fact, we strongly recommend you give Meerman Scott a Google and find out more about his work!) What you need to do, according to Scott is launch your post, press release or simply a blog post as a part of your marketing or PR strategy, just before the peak of a news story.
First secret - get in before the peak.
Yep, that's the tricky bit, but with a little practice it CAN be done. The secret to that is to make sure, and I mean, really sure, that your story, pitch message or product is so on topic with the news story. If you try to jump onto the trend where your message is off key, then it could mean curtains for your reputation (and that can stick for a long time afterwards.)
It is all about aligning your business with the trend.
Socially, newsjacking can have tremendous power. It can be the voice of the masses to speak up and speak out on the injustices and challenges in the world which may often go by without any proper public acknowledgement. With the recent #MeToo - hashtag, it allowed many people to air their views and opinions and got them heard and recognised.
Second secret - alignment.
When you align your product/brand or service to a trending or breaking news item, it will work, but be warned, it has to align. Don't jump on anything because the results can be bad, I mean, permanently bad. As Dr Hilary Jones said on Good Morning ITV last week, 'you need to realistic.' (Ok, so that's a little thin for a newsjacking example) but you get my point.
Look for where you can make a difference. The key is to market and make it look as though marketing is the last thing you're doing. Look for something that's trending where you could be the solution, but make sure it's a positive experience. So, avoid anything that gives you or your client the wrong idea.
Remember - get your timing right and be on trend and be relative and it can be a win win solution for both your client and the press (after all, you work for the press too, don't you know.)
Want to know how we can get your product in the press? Drop us an email now and see how we can get you in the news at email@example.com