Newsjacking is a content marketing strategy that involves taking advantage of the biggest news stories to draw attention to your own blog or content. The term was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book, Newsjacking: How to Inject Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. In the book, Scott says that existing PR strategies of sending out press releases & pitches is no longer relevant in the current age of instant communication and constant news updates. According to Scott, a brand can generate free media coverage for themselves simply by jumping on a news story at the right moment and with the right content strategy.
Newsjacking can either be a reaction to breaking news or planned ahead, based on predictable events in sports, politics, and so on. In response or in anticipation of the news stories, you can create a relevant piece of content that uses the trending keywords and hashtags. This will drive traffic towards your website as the buzz around the news story increases, increasing your exposure and potentially generating media attention at the same time. To align your content with breaking news, you have to constantly monitor the media and set up alerts to stay up-to-date on relevant news that you can align your brand with. For that reason, it’s essential to have a content marketing or social media team that can quickly jump on board and generate relevant content quickly.
When done well, newsjacking makes an extremely valuable part of a content marketing strategy as it has an immediate effect and allows you to instantly attract a wider audience and gain new followers. However, newsjacking can just as easily go wrong if the content you create is insensitive, forced, awkward, or potentially even offensive. While ensuring a quick turnaround is essential to make the most of newsjacking, you also want to take the time to ensure that your story is not going to offend or come across as trying too hard.