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Newsjacking: Taking the News into Your Own Hands

May 11, 2012

“It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities in the news, and inserting your company into the story with a different angle or clever twist.”

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Do you ever pick up a newspaper or open your Yahoo!News and wonder how the same companies keep getting coverage over and over again? Some may even wonder “who is their PR firm?”

Well, recently I read “Newsjacking: How to Inject your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage,” by David Meerman Scott and thought I would share a few tips I picked up.

Meerman’s main point is that one of the biggest resources companies and PR professionals do not use enough is a term he calls “newsjacking.” Newsjacking means to be observant and quick to react to news that can relate to your company. It’s about taking advantage of opportunities in the news, and inserting your company into the story with a different angle or clever twist. In that moment, if you are quick enough to add a new dimension to the story, the news media may include you.

Here are five tips Meerman recommends using when trying to become an effective “newsjacker”:

1. Follow people you know – Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or just through online browsing, be sure to  follow people you know and industries that are relevant to you. Set up Google Alerts and use HootSuite to monitor keywords that relate to your business.

2. Read, read, read! – Read constantly so that you are aware of what is going on around you and what opportunities exist. Check local and national news each morning, and keep your TweetDeck running during the day so you know when something new happens.

3. Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to sit down with a coworker, try a new restaurant or strike up a conversation with someone in a grocery store. Sometimes opportunities for a good story come out of the most obscure moments.

4. Lure the media to you – There is nothing better than having a reporter calling you to ask for a quote (unless it is a crisis about your company!), so become a source for breaking news. Be prompt with your tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts so that you can be contacted by a reporter for your thoughts on the breaking story. Right after a story hits, the first thing reporters do is a quick Google search. Be sure your content comes up before someone else has the opportunity to be a source instead.

5. Be prompt – This one is self-explanatory. If you do not take an opportunity and quickly send out a    relevant pitch, release, or blog post, someone else will. Don’t miss your chance by hesitating too long.

Have you ever had success with newsjacking? If so, share a tip you have.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Valerie Hanneken permalink
    May 18, 2012 1:02 pm

    David, I absolutely agree. In my experience, this is why maintaining relationships with the media is so important. Then they can come to you for insights or refer you as a source for someone else. Loved your book David. Thanks again.

  2. David Meerman Scott permalink
    May 18, 2012 12:51 pm

    Valerie, Thanks for spreading the word about my book. The thing that has changed is that anyone can follow the media and reach them in real-time. So it is now all about people and companies reaching journalists when they are working on stories (rather than blindly pitching them).

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