Newsjacking is a content marketing strategy that involves taking advantage of the biggest news stories to draw attention to your blog or content. The term was popularized 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 are no longer relevant in the current age of instant communication and constant news updates. According to Scott, a brand can generate free media coverage 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, based on predictable events in sports, politics, etc. In response or anticipation of the news stories, you can create relevant content that uses 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 must constantly monitor the media and set up alerts to stay up-to-date on relevant news with which you can align your brand. Therefore, 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 attract a wider audience and gain new followers instantly. However, newsjacking can just as easily go wrong if your content 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.